Challenges of information and communication technology policy implementation in rural South Africa

  • Grasia Chisango Walter Sisulu University, South Africa
  • Carol Lesame University of Limpopo, South Africa
Keywords: Information society, Information and communication technology, Policy, Education, Universal access, Universal service, Digital inclusion, Digital literacy, Eastern Cape


While the South African government has implemented an information and communication technology (ICT) policy to address issues of universal access and service, questions remain about the effective implementation of this policy in rural areas. This article explores the extent to which ICT policy and regulation were implemented in rural South Africa, with specific reference to the Eastern Cape province. Focus group interviews and in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data from 28 high school learners, two local municipal mayors and two women support group leaders in the Chris Hani District Municipality. A theme analysis indicated that the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) is failing to fulfil its mandate of promoting universal access and service. It is recommended that the provincial government in the Eastern Cape design an ICT strategy for its municipalities and that there should be easy access to Thusong Service Centres in rural areas.


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