Statistics South Africa published the General Household Survey report last month with statistics about South African households in 2013, including a section about Internet and telecommunications.

The main finding is that 40.9% of South African households have at least one member who either used the Internet at home or had access to it elsewhere – which on the surface sounds like a promising number – until you find out that only 10% of households had Internet access at home. That means that 30% of the people who go online do it either at work (16%), school/university (5.1%) or at an Internet cafe (9.6%). Access to the Internet at home was highest among households in the Western Cape (21.1%) and Gauteng (15.7%) and the lowest in the North West (4.5%) and Limpopo (3%). Unsurprisingly, there are far more households in metropolitan areas that have Internet access at home (16,4%), compared with households in rural areas (2%) – and 9.2% in urban areas. It’s clear that cell phones offer more access for rural households – 17.9% of rural households go online using mobile devices, with a 30.8% total of South African households using mobile devices to access the Internet.

When you compare these findings with Statistics South Africa’s numbers from 2012, there has only been a marginal increase in household Internet access. In the 2012 report, 40.6% of households have at least one member who access the Internet, and 9.8% of South African households have Internet access at home.

Percentage of households with access to the Internet at home, or for which at least one  member has access to or used the Internet by province, 2013Percentage of households with access to the Internet at home, or for which at least one member has access to or used the Internet by province, 2013 

Households access to the Internet by place of access, geotype and province, 2013
Households’ access to the Internet by place of access, geotype and province, 2013

Read the full report here