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Walking is the most common mode of transport used in the country, with about 17.4 million South Africans walking to their various destinations, followed by 10.7 million individuals who made use of taxis and 6.2 million who used car/truck as a driver.

“Trains were the mode of travel that was least used by household members, except for the Western Cape (1.6%) and Gauteng (1.5%),” Statistics South Africa Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke said.

He was speaking during the release of the results of the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) in Pretoria on Thursday.

Most learners in the country walked all the way to their educational institution (76.9%) because it is nearby/close enough to walk.

“It is evident from the survey that ‘walking all the way’ remained the mode of travel that was most used by learners to reach their educational institution in all nine provinces. About 10.1 million learners walked all the way to their educational institution, which is a decrease from the 11 million observed in 2013,” Maluleke said

“The second most common reason provided was that public transport was too expensive (11.0%). This reason was most likely to be given in rural areas (13.1%),” Maluleke said. 

Across provinces, the highest percentage of learners who walked to their educational institution were found in KwaZulu-Natal (20.3%) and Gauteng (17.7%), followed by Eastern Cape and Limpopo both at 14.6%

Learners who attended a higher educational institutions were most likely to use a taxi (31.5%), and driving car/truck (24.1%) to reach the educational institutions.

“The number of South Africans who had travelled during the seven days prior to the Survey increased from 42.4 million in 2013 to 45.0 million in 2020,” Maluleke said.

The main reasons that prompted most people to undertake day trips were visiting friends/family/ancestral home (43.2%), shopping (15.0%) and leisure/holiday (11.0%)

“On the other hand, overnight trips were mainly undertaken for visiting friends/family/ancestral home (60.2%), followed by leisure/holiday (15.4%) and to attend funerals (8.5%).

“The general usage of public transport as reported by households has increased between 2013 and 2020. There was a general increase of households who used a taxi during the reporting period (from 9.8 million in 2013 to 11.4 million in 2020),” he said.

The objective of the survey was to investigate travel patterns and transport challenges experienced by the South African population.

The findings and insights gained from the NHTS will be used by the National Department of Transport in policymaking, research and planning for service delivery and national transport interventions


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