28th February 2024 4:03 am
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Census 2022: 4 notable tech trends in South Africa

Revelations are trickling in from the data collected in the 2022 national census from Statistics South Africa, covering multiple facets of South African life, including socio-economics, education, and even technology use.

The prevalence of mobile phones has never been higher

Data collected from households has revealed that the overwhelming majority of households in the country own a working cellphone, with only 7.9 percent of households not owning a working mobile phone. The Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke explains that this is a 3.3 percent increase from data collected in 2001, as per SA News.

In contrast to the upward trend of cellphone ownership, the census found that households owning a radio had decreased from 73 percent to 50.3 percent in 2022. This still means a higher consumption of radio content than what can be found in the US, for example, but it does not bode well for the radio industry.

Another device severely affected by the rise in mobile phone ownership is the landline telephone which yet again has seen a downward trend in households that keep them. A trend that has continued since 2001, matching the rise of the cellphone.

Radio is in decline

The rise of the popularity music streaming has artists and labels shift focus towards making money from advertising on these platforms, instead of on traditional radio.

Presidents and CEOs of records and labels have said that music streaming has “revolutionised” the music business. The high penetration of mobile phones has also affected how South Africans find the news, with the internet now the top news source for its citizens at 89 percent compared to print at 33 percent.

Internet use is skyrocketing

General access to the internet has also seen an upwards trend in the last 10 years, thanks to convenience of mobile phones in particular.

“Overall, households with no access to internet decreased threefold (from 64.8 percent in 2011 to 21.1 percent in 2022). A substantial percentage of households reported accessing internet mainly through a cellphone or other mobile device (60.5 percent) compared to 16.3 percent recorded in 2011,” says Maluleke, again solidifying the country as a internet leader on the continent.

Interestingly, South African households are using mobile phones more than other devices to access the internet.

TVs and appliances are more common than ever

Other notable tech revelations in the census are that the ownership of refrigerators/freezers increased across the population almost by double, from 53.8 percent of the population to 83.2 percent, in the last 10 years. The prevalence of televisions has also increased, with four-fifths of the South African households now owning at least one TV.

According to the 2022 census, South Africa now has a population of 62 million people and growing. The census has also discovered that there has been an increase in the number of population born outside of the country and then immigrating.

“The results indicate that there were more male immigrants compared to females. Furthermore, the prevalent ages of migrants were between ages 20 and 44 years, suggesting that young adults are more likely to migrate than children and the elderly,” shared Maluleke.

“The top five sending countries remained the same between the two censuses (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi, and the United Kingdom). India also maintained the 2011 rank in 2022. Namibia, Eswatini, Somalia, Portugal and Germany went down the rank in 2022,” he concluded.

[Image – Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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