Where is South Africa digitally in 2019: the stats

We often look at things from a global perspective, which isn’t ideal as this more often than not considers one landscape over others.

So where is South Africa digitally in 2019?

The South African landscape is very different from the rest of the world, so it’s important to consider this important question when making business decisions.

Where is South Africa digitally in terms:

Digital Usage

66% of South African internet users believe new technologies offer more opportunities than risks.
61% of South African internet users prefer to complete tasks digitally whenever possible.

Percentage of South African population that uses: any type of mobile phone (85%), smartphone (60%), laptop or desktop computer (24%), tablet computer (12%), TV of any kind (82%), device for streaming internet content to TV (3%) and wearable tech device (2%).

Internet Usage

31.18 million active internet users.

28.99 million active mobile internet users.

South Africans spend an average of 8 hours and 32 minutes on the internet per day via any device.

South Africans access the internet for personal reasons on any device: every day (65%), at least once per week (22%), at least once per month (8%) and less than once per month (4%).

The top 8 websites in South Africa based on average monthly traffic: google.co.za, google.com, youtube.com, facebook.com, news24.com, fnb.co.za, twitter.com, and takealot.com.

Data Privacy

78% of South Africans internet users believe data privacy and protection are very important.

45% of South African internet users delete cookies from internet browsers.


Internet advertising spending in South Africa is expected to grow from 5.1 billion South African rands in 2017 to 9.4 billion South African rands in 2022.

45% of South African internet users use an ad blocker tool to prevent the display of advertising content.

Social Media

23 million active social media users.

22 million active mobile social media users.

South Africa saw a 20% year-on-year increase in the number of people using social media from 2017 to 2018.

South African social media users spend an average of 2 hours 48 minutes using social media each day via any device.

The number of active monthly Instagram users compared to the total population of South Africa is 7%.

18 million South Africans are monthly active Facebook users.

89% of active South African Facebook users access Facebook via their mobile.


In 2018, 35% of the population in South Africa used a smartphone.

South Africans spend an average of 3 hours and 17 minutes on the internet per day via a mobile device.

Mobile’s share of web traffic in South Africa: 71% of total web pages served to mobile phones.
There are 67% unique individuals using mobile phones in South Africa compared to the national population.

88% of South Africans have an active mobile broadband connection.

42% of South African internet users watch videos on mobile.

34% of South African internet users are playing games on mobile.


The South African Government and the Financial sector continue to be the largest player when it comes to IT spending.

“One can see a massive appetite for faster internet access at the top of the market and cheap internet access at the bottom of the market. We see that in the fact that the rollout of fiber-to-the-home was followed very shortly by the decline of ADSL connections in South Africa” – Arthur Goldstuck, Forbes

“Mobile technology is responsible for over ¾ of all web traffic in South Africa”.

We hope these stats provide you with a better idea of South Africa digitally speaking.

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