Rise in South Africans going online, claims study

Use of the internet in South Africa has been increasing sharply over the past four years, to the point where more than half of all adults in South Africa will be internet users by 2014.

A report from Indra de Lanerolle, a visiting research associate at the University of Witwatersrand, took a representative survey of 1,589 adults regarding their use of the internet, according to warc.com.

Overall, internet use has risen from 15 per cent in 2008 to 34 per cent in 2012. If it continues at the same rate of growth, numbers could exceed 50 per cent by 2014 and 66 per cent by 2016.

Online-capable mobiles are the main channel for South Africans at present – that’s if comments from 71 per cent of respondents (cited by networksociety.co.za) are anything to go by. However, around a third of those who own such technology do not use it for this purpose.

As a result, ecommerce firms may want to keep one eye on South Africa in the coming years as it could prove to be a fruitful market. Users may start making an online payment for goods in the future or study thanks to the vast information available on the net.

“Our results show there is a new wave of users who have come online in the last few years,” said de Lanerolle. “Their presence is something that business, government, political parties and civil society should be responding to.”


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