The South African Traffic Woes: Cities with the Longest Commutes

Are you one of those South African commuters who feel like they practically live in your car, inching through traffic day in and day out? Well, you’re not alone. The latest TomTom Traffic Index reveals just how much time people spend in traffic in South Africa, and the numbers are enough to make you cringe, or perhaps, empathize with your fellow travellers.

TomTom’s Traffic Index, a comprehensive study that delves into commuting habits and traffic congestion worldwide, is back with fresh insights for South Africa. Covering 389 cities across 56 countries, the index considers travel time, fuel costs, and CO2 emissions, creating a comprehensive picture of traffic issues.

Let’s dive into the data and find out which South African cities are causing the most stress for commuters.

South African traffic Woes

South Africa, with its population of over 60 million people and a growing number of cars on the road, is experiencing the undeniable pains of traffic congestion. According to the TomTom report, major South African cities like Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein are feeling the squeeze, especially during those dreaded rush hours.

Pretoria the King of congestion

Pretoria takes the crown for the most congested city in South Africa. Here, commuters endure an average of 145 hours per year in rush hour traffic, which is the equivalent of spending six full days on the road. If you’re driving just 10 kilometres in Pretoria, you’ll be investing an average of 16 minutes in your commute. Ouch!

Cape Town and East London the runner ups in congestion

Cape Town and East London aren’t far behind, ranking as the second and third most congested cities in South Africa, respectively. In Cape Town, commuters spend 132 hours a year in rush hour traffic, equating to about 5.5 days, and it takes them 15 minutes and 30 seconds to drive 10 kilometres. East London residents spend the same time on their 10km trip, with 132 hours in rush hour traffic.

Bloemfontein has a slightly longer commute but just as frustrating.

Coming in at fourth place is Bloemfontein, where it takes an average of 14 minutes and 40 seconds to drive 10 kilometres. Motorists here endure 136 hours (or 5.6 days) in rush hour traffic, slightly longer than Cape Town and East London.

Johannesburg has a long commute with heavy traffic.

Johannesburg claims the fifth spot in the ranking, with commuters spending 123 hours (about 5.1 days) in rush hour traffic. The average time for a 10-kilometer drive here is 13 minutes and 40 seconds.

Durban has a slightly easier drive.

Durban, the last South African city in the report, stands out with the quickest time for a 10-kilometer drive, taking just 12 minutes and 20 seconds. However, even in this city, motorists spend 112 hours (or 4.6 days) in rush hour traffic.

To get a better grasp of the time South African motorists spend on the road, it’s essential to consider the average distance they travel per trip. According to Numbeo, a trusted source for user-contributed data, the average one-way trip for a South African is 22 kilometres. Using TomTom’s data on travel time for 10 kilometres, we can estimate that South African motorists spend between 22 and 35 minutes on the road.

And if you’re wondering whether these statistics resonate with your daily commute, a survey conducted by Statistica involving 2,032 respondents asked, “On average, how long is your daily commute to work/school/university (one way)?” The responses revealed that most South Africans have a daily commute falling within the 15 to 29-minute range (36%) and the 30 to 59-minute range (25%).

In conclusion, South African cities are grappling with increasing traffic congestion, and the numbers are there to prove it. If you’re one of the many South African commuters spending hours on the road each day, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone in this frustrating journey. Whether you’re stuck in Pretoria, navigating Cape Town’s streets, or breezing through Durban, one thing is clear: South Africans are no strangers to the challenges of rush hour traffic.

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