There has been a widespread consensus for some time that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can play an important role in the lives of individuals in poor and under resourced contexts as it enables them to engage in economic and social activities through access to information. The Covid-19 global pandemic has highlighted the need to re-intensify efforts to ensure participation in the digital era to all people regardless of social and economic status. As such, there are increasing programmatic interventions to provide ICT and internet access to individuals in communities. However, evidence to date indicates that there is a low uptake among older and working-class individuals. As such there are several aspects of the underlying digital inequality in society that must be understood. In light of this, this paper draws on the Choice Framework to investigate individuals’ agency in navigating the ICT-opportunities that could lead to developmental outcomes. The findings show that there is a deficiency in the resource-set of semi-skilled workers which in turn make it difficult to navigate relevant structures in society to achieve both social and economic outcomes in their lives. Moreover, even though some semi-skilled workers have free access to the internet at their workplace or at government funded community centres, they are unable to make effective use of the internet. Consequently, they are denied potential developmental outcomes that they otherwise could have realized.
Liebenberg, Ivonia and Pather, Shaun, "An assessment of the role of agency among semi-skilled workers: Challenges in the attainment of developmental outcomes from the use of ICT" (2021). CONF-IRM 2021 Proceedings. 29.