In the two years since "always on" broadband made its belated arrival in South Africa, the online population has more than doubled, market research by Nielsen//NetRatings found.
NetRatings recorded 3,9million active South African "unique browsers" last month, 121percent more than in May two years ago. Website readership is measured by tagging each visitor's web browser with an identifying "cookie".
Page impressions - the number of articles read - grew at 129percent to 207million over the two-year period. This means the average local Internet surfer read 53 articles online last month.
The report found the typical South African Internet user is an English-speaking male between 25 and 34 years old.
The sudden uptake is hardly surprising considering South Africa was a dial-up modem nation until about two years ago.
Then the cellphone networks' improved data transmission capabilities as well as competition from lottery network operator Wireless Business Solutions and radio and TV signal distributor Sentech prodded Telkom into offering ADSL Internet access.
Most developed markets in the northern hemisphere have seen growth reaching a plateau over the past year or so, NetRatings Internet analyst Alex Burmaster said.
"In contrast, South Africa has seen phenomenal expansion - growing by about 50percent in each of the last two years."