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How much do South Africans spend on ICT?

Dec 19 '15 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 191 | Comments: 0

South African households spent R91,6 billion on ICT products in 2012, contributing 4,6% of total household expenditure. This is one of the findings from the Information and Communication Technology satellite account for South Africa report, which provides an overview of the economic role of the ICT sector in South Africa, in terms of household expenditure, contribution to GDP, and trade.

Telecommunications services the largest contributor to household ICT spending

Total household expenditure was R1 974 billion in 2012. For every R100 spent by a South African household, R4,60 was spent on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products. Of the R4,60, R2,90 was spent on telecommunications, broadcasting and information supply services (e.g. pay-television subscriptions, cellphone airtime and broadband); 80c on communication equipment (e.g. televisions); 50c on content and media products (e.g. newspapers and books); and 30c on computing machinery. The remaining 10c was spent on other ICT items.

ICT contributes more to GDP than agriculture

The direct contribution of the ICT sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) was R94,7 billion (or 2,9% of total GDP) in 2012. Compared to other industries, the ICT sector contributed more to South Africa’s economy than agriculture



The largest contributor to total ICT GDP (R94,7 billion) was telecommunications services (R64,8 billion or 2,0% of total GDP), followed by computer services (R7,3 billion or 0,2% of total GDP) and ICT manufacturing (R6,6 billion or 0,2% of total GDP).

South Africa a net importer of technology

R105,7 billion’s worth of ICT products were imported in 2012, representing 10,4% of all imports in that year. The largest imported ICT product was radio, television and communications equipment, comprising 47,5% of all ICT imports.

R26,8 billion’s worth of ICT products were exported, representing an ICT trade deficit of R78,9 billion. Telecommunications, broadcasting and information supply services, including knowledge services, comprised the bulk of ICT exports (R15,9 billion or 59,6%). ICT exports contributed 2,8% of all exports in 2012.

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