Cape Town has the slowest mobile internet speed in the country – find out which province has the fastest

Photo by Jadon Kelly on Unsplash

Broadband is our modern-day connection to everything and everyone – it’s hardly about how fast you can download something but rather about how quickly you can connect and communicate with someone.

It’s no secret that South Africa falls drastically behind in terms of global broadband quality and affordability. According to, SA is now ranked at number 76 out of 200 countries in regards to the average global broadband speed with Kenya and Madagascar being the top African countries for broadband.

South Africa relies primarily on wireless (WiMAX, 3G, and 4G) connectivity rather than cables to cover its vast spaces and while we have seen a great deal of improvement in the past 5 years, many people in the country still lack the infrastructure and resources to access the world wide web on a daily basis.

Some South African Broadband Statistics 

  • 60% of internet traffic generated in African continent originates from South Africa. (General Household Survey by StatsSA)
  • 40% of South African internet users have active social media accounts. YouTube at 84% users, Facebook at 82% users, and Facebook messenger at 57% users and Instagram at 54%, while 90% Of South Africans use Whatsapp (Hootsuite’s Global State of Digital Report) 
  • 60% access the internet through their mobile devices. (Hootsuite’s Global State of Digital Report)
  • South Africa has the fastest average mobile download speed in Africa with 22.42 Mbps
  • Average time spent online for South Africans is 8 hours 23 minutes for PC users and 3 hours 30 minutes for cellular devices – both averages are higher than international stats with Americans spending an average of 6 hours 38 minutes on PC’s and 3 hours 14 minutes on cellphones.
  • 59.3% per cent of households have access to the internet at home or have at least one member of the family with internet access. (General Household Survey by StatsSA)
  • 54% of the total population of South Africa are active internet users. The map below shows the percentage of households with access to the internet by province. (General Household Survey by StatsSA)


When it comes to South Africa’s average internet speed, the “Worldwide broadband speed league 2018” reported that SA has an average download speed of 6.38Mbps and the time it takes to download a typical 5 GB high-definition movie in the country is 1hr 47min 3sec. The report is based on over 163-million speed tests in 200 countries.

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The three provinces in South Africa with the highest internet speeds are all in the centre of the country– Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Download speed in the Free State was 38.7% faster than that in Northern Cape – the slowest province.

But mobile broadband is a little different and just as with DSL or Fibre, the mobile speeds in the country also differ from province to province but the difference is so subtle that the casual web browser wouldn’t even notice. Below is a list of mobile broadband speeds analyzed by

City Download (Mbps)
Durban 26.66
Pretoria 24.25
Johannesburg 23.62
Soweto 22.90
Cape Town 22.72

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