Survey finds that almost 40% of SA households do not have enough data to complete their online learning. Picture: Ross D. Franklin/AP
Survey finds that almost 40% of SA households do not have enough data to complete their online learning. Picture: Ross D. Franklin/AP

Survey shows SA households don't have enough data for online learning

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Jul 28, 2020

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Cape Town - Almost 40% of households in South Africa do not have enough data to complete their online learning, a new survey to measure the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individuals in the country has found.

In its third and final round of a series of online web-based surveys, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) found: “Two-thirds of respondent households with cellular connections reported inadequate access to data, compared to 15.4% with satellite access, 14.1% with digital subscriber lines (DSL) access, and only 4.4% with fibre.”

Stats SA’s Seble Worku said: “Almost two-thirds (63.6%) of respondents reported that learners in their households had difficulty keeping up with the amount of school work during the lockdown, while 68.4% of respondents said the learners were struggling to adapt to the new mode of learning.

“More than two-thirds (68.5%) of respondents strongly agreed that children spent more time watching television during the lockdown than usual, while close to 60% of respondents strongly agreed that children spent more time on the internet during the lockdown than usual,” said Worku.

The first round (Wave 1) focused on health-related issues, specifically behaviour, knowledge and perceptions around Covid-19 . The second round (Wave 2) focused on employment and income, and the third round (Wave 3) focused on education.

Meanwhile, a new report on poverty and food insecurity stemming from the pandemic has been described as “sobering” by the Right to Know (R2K) campaign.

The report by the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) in the Western Cape confirms that vulnerable communities of the “existing poor” such as street traders, spaza shops owners, small-scale fishers and farmers and seasonal farm workers, have expanded to include “newly poor” caused by job losses and small business closures.

R2K’s Western Cape Member of the National Working Group Wendy Pekeur said: “The continued ability to provide support and solidarity is coming under more pressure. With more and more mouths to feed, donations and other resources are drying up.

“Poor communities report dwindling food supplies, increasing feeding lines and starving families.

“Government programmes on the ground are not visible. Civil society and communities are assisting in maintaining food aid to marginalised communities. Municipality led evictions are more apparent than state subsidised food security programmes."

Cape Argus

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