Sona 2024: Ramaphosa says more households have access to internet than a decade ago
With the advancement of the technological age in South Africa, more people are looking for access to the internet with cheaper data costs.
South Africa is currently in midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). Photo: iStock
President Cyril Ramaphosa said more South African households have access to the internet than a decade ago.
The president delivered his eighth state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday at the Cape Town City Hall with a noticeably absent bench of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who boycotted the event.
This is also Ramaphosa’s final Sona under the sixth administration ahead of the national elections which is expected to take place in August.
The president outlined a number of achievements and future plans during his Sona, which had the opposition benches shouting remarks, but not intrusive enough to violate the new rules of Parliament designed to regulate proceedings during the joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and which prohibit disruptions that had taken place during Sona in the past.
With the advancement of the technological age and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), more people are looking for access to the internet with cheaper data costs.
While Ramaphosa has spoken about rapid broadband rollouts, 5G-ready smart cities, youth digital skills, spectrum allocation, and equipping school children with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device during previous Sonas, the speed of his promises has been throttled.
However, Ramaphosa said South Africa has made progress in this field.
“We completed the auction of broadband spectrum after more than a decade of delays, resulting in new investment, lower data costs and improved network reach and quality.
“These reforms have a profound impact in a society in which access to the internet has risen dramatically over the last decade. Less than half of all households had internet access in 2011, compared to 79 percent of households in 2022,” Ramaphosa said.
While Ramaphosa said there has been improvement in internet connectivity and lower data costs, many will be hoping that there will be further progress to make data prices even more affordable as more and more South Africans use smart TV’s to stream, high powered mobile phones and tablets to access the internet, whether it be for school, work, business or leisure.