Researcher Profile: T. Pashapa

Tapfuma Pashapa

iCOMMS PhD Student | Email:

I am a PhD student within the iCOMMS Research Team. I also hold a Master of Philosophy Degree in Demography and a BSc (Hons) Degree in Mathematics.



The effect of ICT proliferation on rurality and service delivery in South Africa

Rurality is the extent to which an area bares the contextual characteristics of rural places in a broader geographical area such as a country. The concept of rurality is important because it is used as a basis for allocating resources. South African government departments use classification frameworks of rurality which were developed for departmental purposes. Ideally, urban-rural classifications should adequately describe the rural context studied. In addition, they should be updated to changes in the characteristics of rural places over time. Information communication technologies (ICTs) facilitate connection to the outside world. They provide timeous responses to service interruptions and they reduce the distance travelled to obtain services. Based on the classification framework used in South Africa, the study explores how ICTs have transformed South African rurality and hence access to public services. The South African rural landscape includes people who live in diverse areas such as commercial farming areas, tribal areas, coastal areas, towns, and townships. These people have variable levels of access and use of ICTs. Therefore, the study assesses the extent to which South African rurality in the context of ICT proliferation is synonymous with access to improved service delivery. The study will uses a mixed methods research design and the case study method. The study will generate explanatory knowledge about the nature of South African rurality.



  1. Pashapa, T., Rivett, U. (2015): The context of ICT4D and development in rural areas: a case study of South Africa. Proceedings of the 9th IDIA conference, 8 - 9 November 2015, Nungwi, Zanzibar: 266-285 ISBN: 978-0-620-68395-1.

  2. Conference Presentation: Presented Masters Research Findings at the Population Association of Southern Africa Confrence (2011) in Bloemfontein. Title Presented: Interrogation of the fertility differentials between the Malawi DHS and the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project data set.