Original Research

An investigation into the usage of mobile phones among technical and vocational educational and training students in South Africa

Herring Shava, Willie Chinyamurindi, Anathi Somdyala
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 18, No 1 | a716 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v18i1.716 | © 2016 Herring Shava, Willie Chinyamurindi, Anathi Somdyala | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 October 2015 | Published: 25 August 2016

About the author(s)

Herring Shava, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Willie Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Anathi Somdyala, Business Management Unit, East London Management Institute, South Africa

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Background: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are gaining popularity in South Africa; this includes the use of mobile phones and the Internet. Mobile phones also seem to be popular with the student cohort of the South African population, especially for communication purposes. Empirical evidence affirms the importance of mobile phones to this cohort, including the need to research further how these groups use and experience such devices.

Objectives: This study seeks to provide an understanding of how mobile phone features, the motivation to use and time spent on a mobile phone influence behavioural intention to use mobile phones among a sample of technical and vocational educational and training (TVET) students in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Method: A survey was carried out with 161 TVET students through a self-administered questionnaire completed by each respondent. Pre-testing and pilot testing of measures were conducted using a sample of final-year students using mobile phones who fit the same characteristics as the intended sample. To arrive at findings, data analysis was undertaken through the Chi-square test.

Results: Descriptive results of the study reveal that the majority of mobile phones owned by TVET students were in the category of smartphones, bearing modern features that facilitate instant messaging, exchange of data and information as well as speedy access to information via the Internet.

Conclusion: Inferential results of the study indicate that the more features a mobile phone has, the higher the desire to make use of the phone for communication purposes. Furthermore, motivation and time were found to play insignificant roles in influencing student utilisation of mobile phones for communication purposes.


Mobile Phones; TVET; Students; Motivation; Behavioural Intention


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