The best times to leave for work in Cape Town and Joburg to avoid peak traffic

Some of the chief considerations when purchasing a home is location; distance to local amenities; school districts; and long-term value.

Lightstone, one of South Africa’s leading analytics and data companies, has released an analysis on how the population density in prevalent Johannesburg and Cape Town suburbs is directly affecting drive time during peak hours.

Vehicle tracking group Tracker assisted in creating the patterns that were analysed in the different metros.

The following statistics are based on workers commuting to work in Sandton and Cape Town CBD. As a result, they may not reflect exact travel times for every suburb in and around the CBDs, but are a useful representation of peak travel times.

Drive time to Sandton from northern outskirts

According to Google Maps, an average drive from Pretoria to Sandton should take approximately 37 minutes.

Lightstone’s analysis of the route between May and August 2017 showed that if commuters leave at 05:00 it would take 45 minutes to reach Sandton – compared to those who leave home at 06:15 and spend a whopping 75 minutes en route.

These findings are indicative of why it is recommended that employees amend their departure times to spend less time on the road, thus being more productive and time-efficient.

The graphs below display the data evaluated between 05:00 to 09:00 during weekdays, and include all suburbs in the major commuter belts between Pretoria and Sandton.

(Click to enlarge)

Drive time to Sandton from southern outskirts

Commuters traveling from the South of Gauteng (Alberton, Benoni, Edenvale Kempton Park, Johannesberg CBD) to Sandton also struggle with morning congestion during week days.

A drive from Alberton to Sandton should take an average of 37 minutes; however, individuals would spend up to 71 minutes in traffic when leaving home at 07:00, whereas other commuters would only spend 40 minutes if they departed at 08:45.

One of the most significant findings in this particular graph is that the distance between Benoni to Sandton is 6km further than Alberton, but residents in Benoni would save an extra 10 minutes compared to those who live in Alberton.

Cape Town

When comparing the two metros, it is surprising to find that Cape Town traffic peaks 15 minutes earlier than Johannesburg considering that the data was collected during the winter period when the sun rises later in the mother city.

An average drive from Kuilsriver to Cape Town should take no more than 35 minutes, but during peak travel time this increases to 66 minutes at 06:00 and drops significantly to 37 minutes at 08:00.

Remarkably, while Kuilsriver is located 26 km from Cape Town and Durbanville is 29 km from the city centre, the drive time for the latter is 16 minutes faster.


Overall, the data shows that leaving home before 05:45 from densely populated areas – like Alberton and Kuilsriver – could save as much as 30 minutes of drive time, compared to leaving at 06:15.

Read: These are Cape Town’s 10 best-selling neighbourhoods

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The best times to leave for work in Cape Town and Joburg to avoid peak traffic