How many people in SA are internet users? 21 million, for now


If you’re using this, chances are you’re on the internet. If you’ve just received this in the post, please let us know because the website shouldn’t be doing that. But since you are on the internet, you’ve joined some 21 million other South Africans who make regular use of internet access.

Those are figures from the Internet Access in South Africa 2017 study, which was conducted by World Wide Worx and internet fibre provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA). The study found that, in 2016, some 40% of the country (or 21 million people out of around 55.9 million) could be considered internet users. Not a bad percentage and it’s only going to grow — that number is expected to climb to 22.5 million users this year.

The study also identified how South Africans use the internet and in which percentages, though there appears to be a category missing. See if you can spot it…

Of the folks questioned for the study, 31% said that their main use for online access was communication, followed by social networking and information at 24.9% and 23.7% respectively. Entertainment follows last at 22.1%, which is where our missing category might live.

Email and online shopping trail behind the other uses at 16.1% and 15.2%. Which all… looks about right, though we’d prefer to use email less ourselves.

World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said of the report “The findings emphasise the potential of the Internet to enhance lives when we have greater penetration across all segments and demographics. Over time, we will see higher proportions of people engaging in a wider range of activity, but the barriers to more active use will first have to come down.”


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