The number South Africans who have access to the internet has improved over the last year and now, over 50% of the population is connected.

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA’s) released the figures as part of its General Household Survey (GHS), which was conducted last year.

“Half of South African households (53.5%) had at least one member who used the Internet either at home, workplace, place of study, or internet cafés,” the survey found.

In last year’s GHS, results showed that 48.7% of households had an internet connection.

When broken down in instances where South Africans access the internet, results show that most access it at work (15.1%), followed by their home (9.7%) and at school/university/college (5.1%).

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The table above shows that Gauteng has the highest number of connected households (65.7%) while Limpopo has the lowest number (39.3%).

Households in rural areas had the least internet access figures, while those in metro areas generally had the best access.

“Households in Western Cape (21.4%) and Gauteng (15.6%) were most likely to access the Internet at home while households in Limpopo (1.3%) were least likely to have done so. While 16% of households in metropolitan areas had access to the Internet, only 1.2% of households in the rural areas of Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal (1.1%), North West (0.9%) and Limpopo (0.5%) enjoyed the same access,” the survey reads.

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Mobile phone vs landline access

GHS also looked at how many households have a cellphone and/or landine or neither and found that only 3.5% of households did not have access to either landlines or cellular phones in 2015.

“By comparison, 85.5% of households had access to at least one cellular phone, while 10.9% of households had access to both a landline and a cellular phone. Only 0.1% of households had only a landline,” the survey said.

Access to these two means of communication differed by province. Households in historically rural provinces such as Mpumalanga (94.4%) and Limpopo (94.1%) have more cellphones than landlines.

In the more affluent provinces, namely Western Cape (26.2%) and Gauteng (14.1%), more households had access to both a cellphone and landline.

[Source – StatsSA, image – Thundafund]