“Historically, a census was seen to aid in demographic planning and financial state budgets. In recent times, this is not the case,” said Chipo Ngongoni, ICT research analyst at the growth partnership firm.
“Not only does a census provide demographic statistics, but it also indicates the level of literacy and technological uptake in the nation and, if translated properly, highlights the market opportunities for various ICT service providers,” Ngongoni said.
According to the research firm, the census results offer great insight into consumer trends and preferences and, as such, give service providers a clear indication of how to strategically position themselves.
Key ICT statistics highlighted by F&S include:
- An increase of cellphone usage from 31.9% in 2001 to 88.9% in 2011;
- The number of landlines being used in households has decreased from 23.9% in 2001 to 14.5% in 2011;
- The number of household computers has increased from below 10% to 21.4%.
According to F&S, the trends highlighted by the Census are expected to continue, setting a clear case for connected homes.
“The PC penetration is likely to influence an increase in the uptake of consumer broadband, as well as related entertainment services,” F&S said.
Despite the increased mobile phone and PC penetration, the Census 2011 showed that 64.8% of households in South Africa have no access to the internet.
“Internet access has long been an issue in South Africa and much investment has been done to improve the situation,” F&S said.
“With only 16.3% of households accessing internet services through a cellphone, there are great opportunities for growth in mobile internet connectivity.”