Number of South Africans with access to internet grows to 60%

Six out of 10 South Africans now has access to internet, an increase of 5.8% from last year, according to StatsSA.

StatsSA released its General Household Survey (GHS) 2016 survey today, which contains information on a variety of subjects including education, health, the labour market, dwellings, access to services and facilities, transport, and quality of life.

The 2016 GHS survey revealed that 59.3% of South Africans has an internet connection at home work, place of study or Internet cafés or at least one person per household has access.

In 2015, the number stood at 53.5% and in 2014, it was 48.7%.

Access to the internet using all available means was highest in Gauteng (72.2%), Western Cape (68.5%) and Mpumalanga (58.1%), and lowest in Limpopo (42.4%) and Eastern Cape (49.2%). Nearly one-tenth of South African households had access to the internet at home. Access to the internet at home was highest among households in Western Cape (23.6%) and Gauteng (14.8%), and lowest in Limpopo (1.6%) and North West (3.5%).

Mobiles are the most common tech that people use to access the internet.

“It is clear from Table 13 that mobile access to the internet has made it much more accessible to households in rural areas. Nationally, internet access using mobile devices (53.9%) was much more common than access at home (9.5%), at work (15,8%) and elsewhere (9.8%). Although the use of mobile internet access devices in rural areas (38.3%) still lags its use in metros (61.6%) and urban areas (58.0%), it is much more common in rural areas than any of the alternative methods,” StatsSA said.

The survey also revealed that 87% of South African households exclusively have a cellphone, up from 85.5% in 2015.

The exclusive use of cellular phones was most common in Mpumalanga (95.0%), Limpopo (94.4%), North West (90.5%) and Free State (90.2%). Households that used both cellular phones and landlines were most common in the more affluent provinces, namely Western Cape (22.0%) and Gauteng (12.5%).


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