SA’s national internet portal, SouthAfrica.info, receives almost 30-million hits a month and compares favourably with the country’s top commercial web sites, the statutory International Marketing Council (IMC) says in its latest annual report.
The IMC, which has a wide array of prominent South Africans on its board of trustees, is tasked with promoting SA at home and abroad. It describes itself as the custodian of “Brand SA”.
The report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, says Brand SA is valued at R516,6bn.
Chairwoman Wendy Luhabe and acting chief executive Moeketsi Mosola reported that the national web portal continued “its strong upward growth path” in the 2007-08 financial year compared with 2006-07. The monthly page impressions grew by 25% to 3,1-million, the unique users of the website by 21% to 300000 and hits on the web site by 21% to 27,8-million.
“For a noncommercial, public information website, this kind of traffic is extraordinary,” the report said.
The Online Publishers’ Association, which represents SA’s 28 largest websites, said in its December 2007 quarterly readership figures survey that it would have placed SAinfo in 16th place ahead of commercial giants such as “Ananzi.co.za, easyinfo.co.za, SABCnews.com, businessday.co.za and yellowpages.co.za”.
The annual report said analysis of SAinfo’s traffic statistics showed that half of its audience was from abroad, with the US, UK, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Brazil and India leading the pack.
“Underlying SAinfo’s readership growth is the site’s phenomenal performance on internet search engines. It is when one looks at SAinfo’s search result placements — a key indicator of website success — that one appreciates the extent to which the portal has established itself as SA’s leading online country information resource.”
Luhabe said in her report that the 2010 Soccer World Cup presented SA with an opportunity to showcase the country in its best light and to demonstrate the nation’s technological and organisational prowess.
Luhabe paid tribute to former IMC chief executive Yvonne Johnston for her passion in the IMC’s early years. Johnston retired after six years at the helm.