Millions of South Africans are reliant on public transport in order to live day to day. Minibus taxis remain the most popular and accessible form of transport available, while busses, trains and metered taxis are also used. For those people who don’t own their own vehicles, and even for some who do, getting to work requires an assurance that public transport will be available.
For many South Africans, services like Uber and Taxify are far too expensive to consider on a daily basis, which leaves state-subsidised transport mechanisms and minibus taxis, bicycles and travelling on-foot.
How South Africans Use Transport
A report published by Stats SA in 2018 was conducted with a sample of everyday South Africans. It detailed a number of statistics related to living conditions, which included transportation for scholars and the working force. The results displayed around how South Africans get to school and work and back were extremely interesting.
Here are the statistics relating to transport used for school learners:
- Over 64% of school learners walk to school
- 0.8% use a bicycle or motorbike
- 6.8% use a minibus taxi
- 3.6% take the bus
- 0.4% take the train
- 9% travel to school in a private family vehicle
- 11.6% use transport paid for and specifically organised for the scholars by a group of parents
- 2.9% use a bus provided and paid for by the government
Of all these learners, 84,8% of them needed 30 minutes or less to
get to school, and most attended a school as close to home as possible.
South Africa doesn’t have a network of trains and busses that other thriving metropoles in the world might have, but there are other options. But for some, even these options are not viable.
Here are the statistics relating to transport used for the working class:
- 20.4% of South Africans walk to work
- 1% ride a bicycle or motorbike
- 24% rely on minibus taxis
- 4.5% take the bus
- 2.1% take the train
- 33.7% travel in their own vehicle
- 2.2% are part of a lift club
- 11.0% work from home and don’t need to rely on transport
Transport Costs Per Household
According to a report published by Gtac, South Africa’s inefficient public transport spatial planning and infrastructure (that dates back to apartheid days) results in the need for public transport subsidies to be greater. However, these subsidies don’t support minibus taxis, even though the largest percentage of our population rely on these services.
These subsidies contribute to services such as the Gautrain, busses and rail transport, but without support for minibus taxis, the result is expensive travel costs for the poorer South Africans. A number of households spend a large percentage of their monthly income on transport.
The following statistics showcase the number of households in each metropole that spend over 30% of their earnings on transport:
- In Johannesburg, 27.9% of households spend over 30% of their monthly income on transport
- In Tshwane, 19.3% of households spend over 30% of monthly income on transport
- In eThekwini it’s 36.3% of households
- In Ekurhuleni it’s 18.4% of households
- In Mangaung it’s 12.6% of households
- In Nelson Mandela Bay it’s 12.2%
- In Buffalo City it’s 13.9%
- And in Cape Town it’s 11.6% of households that spend 30% of more on transport