From meal plans to health advice – this is how South Africans are using AI and ChatGPT

 ·3 Sep 2023

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm recently, with many South Africans using OpenAI’s tool to make their personal and work lives more manageable.

ChatGPT, an advanced AI-powered language model, has gained traction worldwide for its many uses, such as writing assistance, content generation, and research support.

In On Africa (IOA), with assistance from TrendER/InfoQuest, has published a report based on insights from over 3,000 working people in South Africa to understand how personal and professional lives have been affected since the launch of ChatGPT.

Although 59% of South Africans know about ChatGPT, only 38% are using the tool, with the highest usage seen in the ICT/Telecom industries:

Blue = Knows about ChatGPT / Orange = Has previously used ChatGPT


In the workplace, GhatGPt is seen as a valuable tool in enhancing writing quality (53%), helping with research (43%) and content creation (42%).

Responses for how people use ChatGpt for work in South Africa can be found below:

Use of ChatGPT at work% or respondents
Improving writing53%
Helping with research/analysis43%
Creating content42%
Resolving common problems40%
Training and Education39%
Answering client FAQs36%
Analysing data34%
Translating language27%

Across the respondents, 74% of workplace users said that ChatGPT enhanced their work quality, with many seeing an increase in speed and quality.

Approximately 50% of respondents said that they are worried about the future implications of AI, particularly in terms of automation and the potential impact on employment.

At home

In their personal lives, ChatGPT users said that they mainly rely on the language model to help with ideas (70%) and improve writing (61%). Below are the ways that users at home are using ChatGPT:

Use of ChatGPT at home% of respondents
Getting ideas70%
Improving writing61%
Language learning and translation47%
Entertainment such as games, jokes and interesting facts37%
Providing health advice30%
Financial Management29%
Meal planning17%

55% of home users saw tangible improvements in their home lives, with improved learning, problem-solving skills and time management improvements.

However, there are still concerns that people may become overreliant on GhatGPT in their personal lives, which could limit human intelligence and creativity.

Read: Warning over remote work in South Africa

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