Key Takeaways :
- The results from the 2021 RIA COVID-19 Rapid Response Phone Survey conducted in South Africa using the Random Digit Dialing sampling method, show that the lockdown and social distancing led to a rise in use of the Internet – up from 53% of the population prior to the pandemic, according to RIA After Access survey, to 62% during the first year of the pandemic.
- The Internet gap was wider between urban and rural areas – 70% of individuals who live in urban areas had access to the Internet compared to 49% of people living in rural areas. The gap was even wider between the proportions of rural African women (48%) and urban white men (90%) which shows how digital substitution can widen the already existing gender digital gap.
- The increase in uptake of digital platforms accounted for an increase in Internet use among women by a margin of 10% from 2018 figures, with 59% of women using the Internet in 2021. Internet usage amongst men increased from 57% to 66%, reducing the digital gap between men and women by three percentage points from 14% in 2017 to 11% in 2021.
- A quarter of the survey respondents indicated that they had applied for the COVID-19 relief grant which was offered by the government. Of those who applied, 57% of them were successful in their applications, while 43% did not receive the grant. A higher proportion of men (58%) than women (50%) applied and received the grant, which suggests an inequality in access to grant assistance.
Download the full policy brief below:
|Intersectional inequality inhibits digital substitution aimed at mitigating COVID-19 effects in South Africa|
Onkokame, M., & Chinembiri, T. (2022). Intersectional inequality inhibits digital substitution aimed at mitigating COVID-19 effects in South Africa [Policy Brief 2022]. https://researchictafrica.net/publication/intersectional-inequality-inhibits-digital-substitution-aimed-at-mitigating-covid-19-effects-in-south-africa/