The IRR’s recently published South Africa Survey showed that around 35% of 14.5 million households had access to the Internet in 2011. About 16% of households’ Internet access took place from mobile phones, 9% from home-installed Internet access, 5% from work and 6% from elsewhere, the survey found.
“Access to the Internet through mobile phones is not of the best quality and is limited in that some functions, such as downloads of large documents, cannot be optimally performed,’ said IRR researcher Kerwin Lebone.
The trend of higher internet access through cellphones was replicated across all provinces except in the Western Cape, where the highest proportion of households had internet access from their homes, the IRR said. Lebone added that, owing to relatively prohibitive SA internet costs, “optimal use of the Internet was still the preserve of mainly well-off households”.