Statistics South Africa released its general household survey for 2012 on 22 August 2013, revealing that less than 10% of South African households had access to the Internet at home.
Access to the Internet in the home was highest among households in Western Cape (20.3%) and Gauteng (15.3%), and lowest in North West (3.5%) and Limpopo (2.7%).
The situation looked better when including Internet access at work, school, university or an Internet café.
40.6% of South African households had at least one member who had access to or used the Internet either at home, work, place of study or Internet cafes.
Access to the Internet was highest in Gauteng (54.7%), Western Cape (54.3%) and Free State (42.1%) and the lowest in Limpopo (21.3%) and Eastern Cape (25.5%).
The places where the largest percentages of South Africans tend to use the Internet include:
- At work: 18.9%
- Within the household/at home: 9.8%
- At school/university/college: 5.4%
Access to functional landlines and cellular phones
The survey showed that less than seven per cent (6.3%) of households did not have access to either landlines or cell phones.
Households without access to cell phones or landlines were most common in Northern Cape (17.3%) and Eastern Cape (12.4%). Merely 0.3% of South African households used only landlines.
By comparison, more than three-quarters of South African households (79.5%) used only cellular phones in their dwellings.
The largest percentages were observed in Limpopo (90.2%), Mpumalanga (89.3%), North West (88.9%), and Free State (85.7%).
Western Cape had the lowest percentage of households who had only cellular phones in their dwellings (58.8%) and the highest percentage of households that were using only landlines (1.3%).
The use of a combination of both cellular phones and landlines in households was most prevalent in the more affluent provinces, namely Western Cape (33.2%) and Gauteng (17.1%).