The Internet: South Africa vs. The Rest of the World [Infographic]

The internet in South Africa has certainly come a long way since 1992, when the first domain was registered. Today 41% of the country’s population have access to the internet and more than 60% of all Africa’s internet traffic comes from the Rainbow Nation.

When you compare the state of the internet in South Africa to the rest of the continent it looks very strong. But, what about when you put it up against the rest of the world. Well it’s fair to say the results are mixed, as our infographic shows.

The infographic is split into four sections and includes statistics on internet usage, user demographics, earning and spending and South Africa’s most popular sites and pages.

South Africa's Internet Usage

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A Written Summary of Our Findings

Internet Usage

  • 20,012,275 South Africans are online (that’s 41%).
  • The average download speed is just 4.01 Mbps, slower than Uganda and Zimbabwe.
  • 12.8% of the country is on Facebook.


  • 40% of South Africa’s internet users are aged 15-24.
  • 53% are men, 47% are women.
  • Wealthy households are significantly more likely to be online.

Earning & Spending

  • The UK has 4 times as many registered freelancers (on than South Africa.
  • But the average hourly rate of a South African freelancer ($32) is $6 higher than that of a UK freelancer ($26).
  • 58% of South Africa’s active internet users shop online. The European average is 85%.

Most Popular Sites

  • News24 is the only South African site in the country’s top ten most visited websites.
  • News24, IOL and DStv are the most popular South African websites.
  • There’s no crossover between South Africa's and the wider world’s most ‘liked’ brands of Facebook.