The Western Cape provincial government plans to invest R2.89-billion in the roll-out of broadband connectivity to its citizens, as research has found that the average resident in the province spends more than 20% of their monthly income on accessing the Internet.
Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde this week released new research on the Internet habits of residents. The research was commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and conducted by Research ICT Africa, in partnership with the University of Cape Town and the University of Western Cape.
In total, 2 271 households and 3 955 individuals across the province participated in the survey.
The survey found that 91.4% of users in the region used their mobile phones to connect to the Internet.
“This research now provides a baseline for us to track the effect of our broadband roll-out programme. We placed special attention on getting to grips with three of our most vibrant, yet previously underserved, areas so that we are able to see how access to broadband is changing lives and business opportunities for those residents,” he noted.
Winde added that South African mobile services costs ranked among the highest in the world.
“Nationally, users spend 24.7% of their income on mobile services, which includes data and voice. In the Western Cape, the average is 20.1%. According to the International Telecommunication Union, anything above 5% in not affordable. This is why we have selected bringing broadband to residents as one of our game-changers,” he said.