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4.1 Introduction

Data was collected using interviews based on questionnaires (see Appendix A). These questionnaires were distributed to 10 SMEs within the Pretoria region. There was no special reason for selecting the Pretoria region, except that it was easier to access SMEs in this area. The owners of each SME were chosen as suitable candidates for the interview/questionnaire due to the fact that they have a good understanding of issues surrounding their businesses. There were a number of challenges when it come to the data collection. For example, the owners were always busy and so not easily accessible, and some of the questions where answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without going into detail. Generally this would result in a follow-up phone call to clarify the answers. Since the sample is very small the findings can not be generalised in a statistical manner. However, since this is a qualitative study, the results may still be used in a valid way to suggest problematic areas and possible solutions.

4.2 Subjects

There were no specific criteria used in selecting the 10 SMEs that participated in the interview/questionnaire. The selection was done randomly and based on acceptance. All of the subjects are from Pretoria in the Gauteng province as it was easier for the author to access them. The targeted subjects were the business owners, because they are the ones that make decisions in their SME or because they could direct us to the relevant people. Getting the decision maker is very important for gaining a better understanding of the issues facing the SME. All the SMEs that participated in the interview are listed on Appendix B.

4.3 Data gathering

The questions were selected carefully: they were designed to gain an understanding of ICT knowledge and usage within the specific SME and to discover, if ICT is used, how it is implemented. Appendix A shows all the

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