Cities with the worst traffic jams in SA

 ·20 Mar 2015
Traffic Congestion

Numbeo’s 2015 Traffic Index shows that Cape Town is South Africa’s most traffic congested city, on par with Bangalore, India, and just under some major metropols such as Mexico City and Bangkok.

According to the Index, Cape Town in the 23rd most congested city in the world, out of 165 cities.

Three South Africa cities feature on the index, with Cape Town (227.71) leading ahead of Pretoria (198.55) and Johannesburg (192.68).

The Traffic Index is a composite index of time consumed in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, CO2 consumption estimation in traffic and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.

On average, Capetonians can expect to spend an extra 47 minutes sitting in traffic, while Pretoria drivers suffer through 43 added minutes, and 40 minutes in Joburg.

Cairo, in Egypt, is the most congested major city in Africa with an index score of 320.55, and Nairobi, Kenya, is second, with a score of 317.24.

African cities

# City Country Score
2 Cairo Egypt 320.55
3 Nairobi Kenya 317.24
23 Cape Town South Africa 227.71
36 Pretoria South Africa 198.55
42 Johannesburg South Africa 192.68

Nairobi and Cairo are also the second and third most congested cities in the world, according to Numbeo, trumped only by India’s capital, Mumbai.

India has three cities in the top 10, according to the Index, with the USA having two cities (Miami and Denver), and showings from other notoriously congested areas such as Tehran in Iran and Dhaka in Bangladesh.

The most congested cities in the world

# City Country Score
1 Mumbai India 350.60
2 Cairo Egypt 320.55
3 Nairobi Kenya 317.24
4 Pune India 316.92
5 Kolkata India 299.77
6 Miami USA 299.04
7 Tehran Iran 295.27
8 Dhaka Bangladesh 286.04
9 Recife Brazil 285.17
10 Denver USA 263.39

Numbeo’s index relies on user inputs as well as manually collected information from a number of authoritative sources, with algorithms in place to discard statistically inaccurate data.

The group claims to have collected over 1.3 million datapoints since August 2014, and is often used as a comparative data source for media groups such as Forbes, Business Insider, Time, The Economist and the NYT.

Tom Tom findings

Notably the index findings echo official data from traffic monitoring and GPS company Tom Tom, which recently showed that Cape Town has become the most congested city in South Africa.

In a recent radio interview, Tom Tom Divisional Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Daan Hendricks, said travel times in Cape Town have increased exponentially over the years.

“What we have seen is that Cape Town has taken over Johannesburg to being the most congested city in the country,” he said.

Tom Tom measures congestion data, by looking at the actual travel time between peak periods, in comparison to the travel times during free flow periods.

The difference is then expressed as a percentage increase in travel time.

“What we have seen is that in Cape Town you need to add about 27% of your travel time,” Hendricks said.

“Of course, if you travel in the morning, then you need to add much more to your travel time. If you look at it on a yearly basis, if you commute for about 30 minutes per day, you will probably get stuck for about 89 hours in traffic, which is equal to about 11 working days,” he said.

More on South African cities

Joburg vs Cape Town: Best city challenge

Why Joburg is the best city in South Africa

Best performing city in SA in 2014

South African cities with the best quality of life

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter