Cell phones big business in Limpopo

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pretoria - The Limpopo province has the highest amount of households with access to cell phones, said Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

"Limpopo had the highest use of cell phones in households at 85.8 percent," Stats SA Kefiloe Masiteng, the Deputy Director-General for Population and Social Statistics, said at the release of the 2010 General Household Survey (GHS) on Thursday.

The provinces with the highest percentages of households using only cellular phones (as opposed to landlines) in their dwelling were Limpopo followed by Mpumalanga at 85.2 percent, North West at 78 percent and the Free State at 76 percent.

The Western Cape had the highest number of both cell and landline phones at 34.3 percent, while at the same time it had the lowest rate of households' use of cell phones at 51.1 percent. When coming to the use of landlines, the province had the highest number at 3.1 percent.

According to the report, 26.8 percent of South African households had at least one member who had access to the internet either at home, work, place of study or internet cafes.

The use of the internet was the highest in the Western Cape at 44.1 percent, Gauteng at 40.9 percent and the Free State at 27.5 percent. Limpopo and the Eastern Cape had the lowest at nine and 14.3 percent respectively.

Most South Africans use the internet at work (16.7 percent), at home (10.1 percent) and at school at 5.5 percent.

"Access to the internet in the home is highest among households in the Western Cape (18.7 percent) and Gauteng (17.1 percent) and lowest in the Eastern Cape (3.8 percent) and Limpopo (3.1 percent)," the report stated.

The survey also found that connection to mains electricity increased from 77 percent in 2002 to 83 percent in 2009 slightly decreasing to 82 percent in 2010. Connectivity decreased in the Western Cape (90 to 87 percent), Northern Cape (89 to 87 percent) and Gauteng (86 to 82 percent) between 2009 and 2010.

Between 2002 and 2010, the use of wood and paraffin for cooking decreased. However, more households used wood in 2010 at 14 percent compared to nine percent.

"Almost half (46.6 percent) of households in Limpopo still used wood for cooking, followed by the Eastern Cape (20.9 percent), Mpumalanga (20.2 percent) and KwaZulu-Natal (20.4 percent). Only approximately one percent of households in Gauteng and Western Cape used wood for cooking," reads the study.

Stats SA sampled 33 022 dwellings, while 25 635 households were analysed. Face-to-face interviews were conducted between July and September 2010.