This article examines urban telecommunications access and use by poor households in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. Analysis draws upon a broad range of quantitative and qualitative data and in doing so seeks to reveal the complexities of how this access and use underpins a wide range of social and economic processes critical to processes of social development. By way of example, the issue of informal urbanisation and housing tenure is addressed, as is the critical role that telecommunications play in facilitating and maintaining important social networks, both across Cape Town and beyond. Further, this article gives consideration to how telecommunications support and enhance livelihood opportunities, and the fact that they are embedded in existing modes of social communication and manifestations of social, cultural and symbolic capital.
Skuse, A.; Cousins, T. Getting connected: the social dynamics of urban telecommunications access and use in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. New Media and Society (2008) 10 (1) 9-26. [DOI: 10.1177/1461444807085319]