According to the SME Survey 2012, which is the original representative survey of SMEs in South Africa conducted by World Wide Worx, 410 000 SMEs in South Africa currently have a website, representing 63% of active, formal SMEs. Of those with a website, 27% are strongly profitable, while only 11% of those without can claim the same. Only 5% of those with a website are running at a loss, while 16% of those without a website are in the red.
“The full impact of these websites on the economy is placed in perspective by the number of SMEs that would not have survived without a website,” commented Goldstuck. “Approximately 150 000 SMEs in South Africa would not be able to survive without their web presence. With SMEs accocunting for about 7.8m jobs in South Africa, this means as many as 1.56m jobs would be in jeopardy were it not for the Internet. This is an indirect impact of the Internet on the South African economy, but one that is as significant as the direct impact.” The sectors with a particularly high likelihood of SMEs having a website include IT (89%), communications (76%) and tourism (77%).