The New Wave Report
was produced by the South African Network Society Project

and written by Indra de Lanerolle, Visiting Research Associate, Wits Journalism, University of Witwatersrand

Dr Mark Orkin

Designed by Garage East

Published by University of Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa © 2012, University of Witwatersrand

Research conducted in collaboration with Research ICT Africa. The South African Network Society Project is generously supported by the Open Society Foundation of South Africa

This project has benefitted from a wide range of collaborations in Africa and beyond. It was initiated thanks to the help of Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of Witwatersrand. Professor Alison Gillwald, Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA) was instrumental in enabling our partnership with RIA without which the research would not have been possible. Professor Gillwald and Dr Christoph Stork, Senior Researcher at RIA have actively supported the development of the project and contributed ideas and invaluable advice. Discussions with the RIA network of researchers from twelve African countries at two workshops were helpful in setting this research in an African context and provided many useful insights. Professor Jeff Cole of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California has encouraged us in our work and introduced us to the World Internet Project – thus giving us access to an extraordinary group of Internet researchers from China to Chile. Discussions with colleagues in the World Internet Project network have contributed greatly to the thinking that has informed the report. Dr Renette Krommenhoek offered generous assistance in some of the initial analysis of the data. Lastly, Barry Maitland-Stuart and Jessica Maitland-Stuart at Garage East worked beyond the call of duty to design the report.

Dr Mark Orkin, the former Director General of Statistics South Africa, has been a consultant to the project. But he has been far more than that. He has been a mentor and guide in quantitative social research approaches and has been a constant generator of insights and research questions.

The project would not have been possible without the support of the Open Society Foundation of South Africa. At the OSF, Fortune Sibanda and then Nonceba Mtwana have both been constructive and helpful partners. Research ICT Africa’s research was funded by IDRC – the International Development Research Centre.

Any errors and omissions are the responsibility of the author.

Research Methodology

The data presented in this report is drawn from the South African Network Society Survey (SANSS), a project of Wits Journalism, University of Witwatersrand in collaboration with Research ICT Africa. The report is based on a survey of 1,589 South African adults aged 15 and over representative of the national adult population. All interviews were conducted face-to-face. Though the questionnaire was in English, interviews were conducted in multiple languages.

Sampling Methodology

The data is nationally representative on a household level for individuals 15 years of age or older. The survey was stratified into urban and rural areas. Enumerator areas (EAs) were sampled for each stratum using probability proportional to size (PPS) from the national census sample frame. EA sample frames were constructed through listing all households within an EA. Households were then sampled using simple random sampling. The first part of the questionnaire, the household rosta, collected information about all household members. The second part collected household-related information. The head of the household or someone that manages the household answered parts one and two. The third part, the individual section, was answered by an individual, 15 years of age or older, randomly selected from those household members and visitors that slept in the house on the night prior to the interview. South African fieldwork was conducted in the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.Confidence factor is 95%.

For more details on the methodology see

Internet Questionnaire

The SANSS questionnaire was drawn up by Indra de Lanerolle in collaboration with Dr Christoph Stork and Alison Gillwald of Research ICT Africa with inputs from other members of the RIA network in twelve African countries. Some of the questions were based on the World Internet Project ‘common questions’. The World Internet Project – - is a network of Internet researchers in thirty-four countries. These common questions enable many of these findings to be compared directly to findings from other countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

The Internet survey formed part of a wider survey of telecommunciations and media use conducted by Research ICT Africa with the support of the International Development Research Centre. This survey was conducted in 12 African countries. Reports based on these surveys will be available on RIA’s website

About the Network Society Project

The Network Society Project was established by Indra de Lanerolle, Visiting Research Assoicate at Wits Journalism, University of Witwatersrand. The project seeks to research the social impact of new telecommunications networks and technologies in Africa.

The New Wave report and the Network Society project has been made possible due to a generous grant from the Open Society Foundation of South Africa.

About Wits Journalism

Wits Journalism, headed by Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism. is one of South Africa’s premier professional journalism training and media and journalism research institutions. It also hosts a number of media projects that seek to improve and enhance journalism and media in South Africa and the Continent including the award-winning Wits Justice Project and AfricaCheck.

About the Author

Indra de Lanerolle is a Visiting Research Associate at University of Witwatersrand. He is a media consultant, journalist and researcher, an award-winning television and film producer and a former Senior Producer on the BBC's Newsnight and Panorama programmes. He has worked with Multichoice, Corruption Watch, Nokia, Soul City Insttitute, AVUSA, For Good and other organisations to research and develop online and mobile communications tools and media.