Region/Countries: Africa and the Middle East, South Africa Industry: Other Date: July 2019

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: With high demand from both private companies and education institutions, this rapid growth is expected to continue.

South Africa’s nascent e-learning market experienced double-digit growth during the period 2013-2018.  Industry revenue is expected to top $490 million by 2023, according to Ken Research. The market is growing as schools opt for e-learning courses and students adapt newer learning methods such as videos, animations and open courseware. Given the large number of players in this market, customers are highly price-sensitive.

Even with this rapid growth, the South Africa e-learning market has a low penetration rate due to a lack of trained teachers and low internet penetration in the country. E-learning services are used by both higher education institutions and multinational companies operating in the country. The former largely prefer open courseware and educational videos, whereas the latter favor learning management systems (LMS) to provide training to their employees. The mean age on the continent of Africa is 19.7, meaning there is a large and increasing demand for education across the board, with support platforms needed to provide it.

Increasing high-school enrollment and growth in South Africa’s working population has driven demand for content, the segment that dominated the e-learning market in 2018. Technology services accounted for the remaining revenue share.

Within the content segment, open courseware contributed a major share. Open courseware is in high demand from high schools and home users. Customized multimedia contributed the second-highest revenue share, whereas online tests accounted for a small share of the overall e-learning market in 2018. Technical training in many subsectors is in demand across Africa.

Within the technology segment, LMS constitutes the major share due to its increased use in corporate firms. Smart authoring tools have the second-highest share by revenue, followed by smart classes, with a relatively small share.

The e-learning market in South Africa in 2018 was dominated by the corporate education and government training sector, which accounted for more than half of the revenue. Higher education has the second-highest share. On the other hand, K-12 and vocational training accounted for a small share.

Corporate enterprise was the largest contributor to the e-learning industry in 2018, followed by home users, nonprofits and the government. Increasing enrollment in higher education and growth of the working population have contributed to the increasing demand for e-learning services.

The South Africa e-Learning market is highly fragmented. The market has numerous players, with major content players including Ceed Learning, Cyber Fox, GetSmarter, SAIDE and Via Afrika, and major technology players including LRMG, Net Learn, TTRO, Signify Software and Eduboard. These players compete on the basis of target audience, technological capability, distribution network, client acquisition/retention, fees and courses offered.

South Africa’s e-learning industry is expected to continue to grow at a compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) of over 12% during the period 2018-2023. Increasing demand from corporate clients is likely to drive future demand for LMS in South Africa, as companies move toward this type of training rather than placing employees in a physical classroom with trainers. The growth in the number of schools, students and workers in the country will further increase the demand for e-learning services. South Africa’s high schools are the most important pillar of its fast-growing e-learning industry, and the South African government’s investments in education have further contributed to the growth of this sector.