The Right to Education and the Internet in South Africa

Written by Andrew Rens on May 31st, 2016

What possibilities does the spread of Internet access offer for the right to education in South Africa? How can educational resources be made more readily available via the Internet? I examined these questions in a case study that is part of the Association for Progressive Communication’s examination of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Internet.


“South African legislation and policy fail to protect the right to educational resources on the internet…some time some parts of the state educational system are moving towards mass adoption of digital technology as the primary means for providing educational resources….Civil society organisations concerned with education and thus with the supply of educational resources in South Africa cannot ignore the internet. Failure to develop a vision of education that makes use of the opportunities presented by the internet due to mistaken claims that it is a luxury or unaffordable technology simply cede control of the future of educational resources to private actors in the global North. Nor will delay in developing appropriate policy until South Africa has 100% internet penetration insulate South Africa from global developments, not least of which is the increasing importance of the internet to national economies.”

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