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SA Internet User Statistics

In the world of technology, the speed at which internet access is growing world wide is exceptional. Internet usage is a global phenomenon that is changing the face of business industries in remarkable and lucrative ways. South Africa is one of many countries that have enjoyed much productivity with internet usage. Below, we take a look at South Africa’s internet user statistics.

South African Internet User Statistics
Internet Growth Statistics In South Africa

  • Of a population of over 48 million, it was estimated in December 2008 that South Africa had a total 4 590 000 internet users (approximately 10.5 % of the total population).
  • In comparison the year end total of internet users in 2007 was 4 070 000, 2 830 000 in 2006 and 3 600 000 in 2005.
  • At the end of 2002 an estimated 3.1 million South Africans had access to the internet. The year 2002 saw the slowest growth rate in internet access since its introduction to the public in 1993. This estimated rate was 7%. Previous growth rates since 1993 have never been below 20%.
  • Internet access growth was estimated at 6% in 2003, with an approximate 3.28 million people making use of internet facilities. This means that for every 1 in 13 South Africans at the end of 2003 were estimated as active internet users.
  • Estimated amounts of more than half of SMME’s (small, medium and micro enterprises) in South Africa make use of email as their primary online activity. As much as one third of SMME’s make use of banking facilities as their primary online activity.
  • The year 2004 saw the largest growth rate in available technology options for South African internet users. These options included broadband wireless, ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line), ISDN (integrated services digital network) as well as a variety of ISP’s (internet service provider).

Internet Broadband Usage Statistics

  • The number of broadband (high speed internet access) internet subscribers in South Africa as of September 2008 totalled to an estimated 378 000 people.
  • The Internet Society of SA (ISOC – ZA), Online Publisher’s Association (OPA) and government have since 2004 discussed the high cost of bandwidth in South Africa so as to stimulate internet user growth further within the country. Based on statistics from 2003, it is estimated that by the end of 2009, 1 in every 10 South African’s will have access to high speed internet facilities. Broadband internet access costs, therefore, needed to be considerably reduced. In 2003 a study conducted by ISOC – ZA revealed that the cheapest broadband access costs from Telkom estimated at R1.75 per Kbps (kilobit per second) and Sentech’s MyWireless costs were roughly R2.93 per Kbps. These figures thus meant that broadband access costs in South Africa were 286% and 480% more expensive than for example an Egyptian ISP.

Internet Dial-up Usage
The year 2002 saw the size of the dial-up market of internet users in South Africa surpass the one million mark. This was largely due to the effective marketing campaigns implemented by two South African companies, Telkom and Absa.

General Internet User Facts & Stats

  1. As many as 9 out of the 12 major ISP’s listed by the Internet Service Providers Association are based in the city of Johannesburg.
  2. The Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) is the larger of two national hubs connecting ISP’s into a single network.
  3. The majority of South Africa’s current intern user estimates are concentrated in Johannesburg, as well as the country’s other major cities such as Cape Town and Durban.

In Conclusion
Of the more than 1 596 million internet users across the world, as estimated at the end of March 2009, South Africa’s approximate portion stands roughly at more than 4 million people. Broadband wireless is slowly but surely growing in South Africa as prices decrease and internet users migrate from dial up connections to a faster online access facility. Technology is progressively improving to not only operate sufficiently for existing subscribers but also to be designed simply so that a broader audience (more members of the South African population) can easily understand and use wireless internet connections all over the country. Based on this, the number of internet users is expected to increase during the course of 2009 onwards, providing more and more of South Africa’s population with efficient internet access.

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