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Car, train or taxi? SA's travelling habits revealed

2016-11-25 07:57

STUCK IN A RUT: According to StatsSA, locals choose their mode of transport to travel to work based on travel time and costs. Image: AFP

Cape Town - Millions of South Africans travel to and from work each day.

Their choice of transport goes beyond type of vehicle and even differs depending on race and gender, statistics reveal. 

According to Stats SA’s newly released figures, which were gathered in 2013, the primary reasons for choosing a method of transport for all population groups was based on travel time and travel costs.

Travel in SA

Safety from accidents and flexibility (i.e own vehicle or public transport) were also significant motives, reports StatsSA. Households headed by black African males had a higher concern for travel time (35.3%) and lesser need for flexibility (7.5%) than those headed by males belonging to other population groups.

Households headed by white males reported the highest need for flexibility (22.9%), while those headed by their coloured counterparts were more concerned about travel costs than the other population groups. Households headed by Indian/Asian males on the other hand, considered safety from accidents (16.3%) and comfortableness (11.2%) as greater concerns than other groups.

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The cost of travel

The table above (Table 4.17) shows that among black Africans, females spent more than males on all transport modes except on taxis and vehicle passengers. StatsSA claims the highest cost difference between males and females for this population group was for those who were vehicle passengers, where males spent R68 more than females.

The average monthly cost patterns were different for the coloured population group.

READ: More black women getting driver's licences - StatsSA

Females spent more than males on vehicles (either as drivers or passengers) only. For the Indian/Asian population group, it was males who generally spent more on all modes of transportation than females (except on taxis), where females spent R55 more than their male counterparts.

It cost Indian/Asian males R1976 more than females to drive to work. This is the highest gender difference observed in all population groups. However, these findings should be used with care as this population group is represented by a relatively small sub-sample in the data.

Among whites, the average monthly cost for females was more than that of males for all transport modes except in vehicle-self driving, where males spent on average R242 more than their female counterparts. 

Above shows the time taken to travel to work in 2013. The figure shows that about one third of employed persons took less than 30 minutes to travel to work. Most (47.2%) take between a half hour and one hour to travel to their destinations; 11.3% travel longer than an hour, but not longer than one and a half hours. 

Although a slightly higher percentage of females than males took less than 30 minutes to travel to work (Table 4.8), virtually no differences existed when the time taken to travel to work was analysed by sex. 

More black women drivers

Between 2003 and 2013, there was a 122% increase in the number of black women who got driver's licences, according to Statistics South Africa’s latest report on Gender Patterns in Transport.

Despite this increase, black women were still the least likely group to have driver's licences, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla told reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday (Nov 23).

Conversely, white South Africans were still more likely to be in possession of a driver's licence than any other group in South Africa. Between 2003 and 2013, the number of driver’s licences among white people increased from 79% to 84%. The increase among black people in the same period was from 12% to 17%.


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