Cellphones main gateway to Internet in SA townships

Only 14% of township residents say they never access the Internet

December 11, 2011
Mobile websites

Cellphones remain the primary gateway to the Internet for South Africans living in townships, according to the results of a new survey by ikapadata.

The Cape Town-based research company found that of the 715 people surveyed in townships in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, 26% of respondents said that they access the internet only via cellphone.

41% said that they use both cellphones and computers, while 20% said the access the Internet via computer only.

The number of township residents accessing the Internet from home computer was low, ikapadata found, with only 28% of those that use a computer to access the Internet (whether in combination with cellphone or not) doing so.

Almost the same proportion (27%) use a public library, ikapadata said, followed by the workplace and school/university (21% each).

Most (54%) use computers at shops or internet cafes.

Interestingly, ikapadata’s results showed that only 14% maintain that they never access the Internet.

Sample information

To get a better idea of what ikapadata’s numbers represent, we asked them for a detailed breakdown of their sample.

The geographic breakdown of respondents was as follows:

  • 247 from Johannesburg: Tembisa (majority – 60%), Soweto, Alexandra, and smaller places.
  • 247 from Durban: KwaMashu, Illovo Township, Isipingo, and Umlazi
  • 221 from Cape Town: Makhaza (Northern Khayelitsha), Nyanga, and Masiphumelele, with smaller numbers of respondents from townships in-between (e.g. Gugulethu, other parts of Khayelitsha)The survey was slightly more male-dominated, with 57% of the responses coming from males and 43% from females.

The age distribution of respondents is shown in the graph below:

ikapadata Social networking and Internet usage survey age distribution - December 2011

ikapadata Social networking and Internet usage survey age distribution

ikapadata said that the survey was self-funded.

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Tags: cellphone Internet, Headline, ikapadata, mobile data

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