The cheapest South African cities for transport – and how long it will take you to get to work

Statistics South Africa has released its latest General Household Survey, looking at key statistics across South Africa’s eight major metros.

The target population of the survey consists of all private households in all nine provinces of South Africa and residents in workers’ hostels – meaning it is representative of current population groups and living arrangements.

One of the largest parts of the survey focuses on transport, and how South Africans choose to travel every day.

When looking at public transportation options, minibus taxis remain by far the most popular choice, with an average of 32.9 million passenger trips made every month across the eight metros.

In comparison, a much smaller amount of people use buses (5.29 million passenger trips every month), and trains (5,22 million passenger trips every month).

Passenger trips made each month (‘000)

Mode of transport Cape Town Buffalo City Nelson Mandela Bay Mangaung eThekwini Ekurhuleni Johannesburg Tshwane All metros
Minibus/taxi 4 311 680 1 538 888 5 655 5 471 10 093 4 279 32 915
Bus 1 642 85 357 371 628 422 1 077 706 5 286
Train 1 703 175 31 33 772 991 954 562 5 220

% of the household’s income spent on transport per month

The survey also found that transport is still relatively costly for many South Africans, with a large number spending 30% or more of their household income on travelling costs.

According to the data, eThekwini is the worst in this regard with over a third of all  households (36.3%) spending 30% or more of their income on transport every month.

In comparison, the majority of Capetonians (57%) spend just 1%-10% of their household incomes on transport every month.

Percentage spent Cape Town Buffalo City Nelson Mandela Bay Mangaung eThekwini Ekurhuleni Johannesburg Tshwane All metros
1-10% 57.6% 50% 42.4% 50.9% 25.0% 47.2% 40.1% 41.8% 43.3%
11-20% 22.3% 25% 34.4% 25.3% 28.0% 24.8% 20.6% 26.0% 24.4%
21-30% 8.5% 11.1% 11.1% 11.2% 10.7% 9.6% 11.4% 13.0% 10.6%
30% or more 11.6% 13.9% 12.2% 12.6% 36.3% 18.4% 27.9% 19.3% 21.7%

% of workers travelling for longer than 30 minutes to their place of work/school

Of course costs are not the only way to measure the impact of transport on South African households, with most motorists having to navigate traffic on their daily work and school commutes.

Stats SA found that the City of Tshwane was the worst in this regard, with 52% of workers travelling for longer than 30 minutes to their place of work. In comparison less than 6.9% of commuters in Nelson Mandela Bay said that it takes them longer than half an hour to get to work.

Similar patterns can be seen in the amount of time it takes to get to school, with just 3.2% of Nelson Mandela Bay residents stating it takes longer than half an hour to get to their place of education, while 21.1% of Tshwane residents said it took them more than 30 minutes.

Cape Town Buffalo City Nelson Mandela Bay Mangaung eThekwini Ekurhuleni Johannesburg Tshwane All metros
School 15.6% 16.6% 3.2% 12.3% 15.2% 16.5% 18.9% 21.1% 16.5%
Work 48.5% 22.7% 6.9% 25.9% 36.5% 42.1% 50.8% 52.0% 43.5%

Read: Here is the expected petrol price for July

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Follow us

Recommended