Worst traffic in SA – survey

2012-11-12 12:39

CAPE TOWN – Satnav specialist TomTom has released its Congestion Index for South Africa 2012. The report analyses traffic in three major cities in SA - Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

The report reveals that Johannesburg drivers are the most frustrated behind the wheel due to a 37-minute addition to their daily commute during peak periods.

Capetonians don’t fare much better with an additional 34mins added to their journey, while Durbanites, on average, only spend and extra 15 minutes in traffic.


The Congestion Index captures data from vehicles throughout SA and its database contains over five trillion measurements.

The overall congestion level for South Africa is at 25%, meaning travel time is increased by 25% during heavy traffic.

Congestion levels per city:
Johannesburg: 32%
Cape Town: 27%
Durban: 16%


TomTom’s data also details the best and worst days to travel during the week.

The most congested day in Johannesburg was March 15, 2012. The worst times to travel are Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons, while the best times to travel are Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings.

The most congested day in Cape Town was March 16. According to TomTom, the worst days to travel are Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, while the best times to travel are Friday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

The most congested day in Durban was March 23. Durban echoes Cape Town for the best/worst travel times with Monday mornings and Friday afternoons being the busiest. The best times to travel are Wednesday mornings and afternoons

Daan Henderickx, manager of TomTom South Africa, said: “Over the years, with the help of our customers, we have built the largest and most accurate database of travel time information in the world.”

“When we combine this travel database with our detailed real-time traffic information and routing technology, we can not only pin point congestion, but can guide drivers away from congested areas onto faster routes,” he said.


In November 2012 TomTom launched its Start 60, which has the biggest screen - at 15cm - among the company’s satnavs.

The Start 60 comes with TomTom’s new dual mounting system that gives buyers the choice between mounting their device on the windscreen or dashboard.

TomTom also launched its new VIA 130 with “Speak & Go” functionality that allows drivers to control the device via 1000 voice commands.

The VIA 135, with a larger 12.7cm screen compared to the 130’s 10.9cm unit, has been confirmed for South Africa, although details on pricing and availability were not released.

TomTom Start 60 - R2099
TomTom VIA 130 - R 1599

Share your thoughts on the 2012 Congestion Index in the Readers' Comment section below or e-mail and your article could be published on Wheels24.

  • rohin.jadin - 2012-11-12 13:17

    it would be interesting to know why monday mornings would be any worse than any other morning.

      ebon.geist - 2012-11-12 17:03

      At a guess I would say it could be the result of migrant workers. Some people go home for the weekend and then return to work residence on Monday.

  • Blixum - 2012-11-12 13:24

    Must be costing the country a pretty penny. More productive time down the drain..

  • deelen.pillay - 2012-11-12 13:25

    Johannesburg: We have had major upgrades to our highways resulting in a worldclass arterial network with multiple lanes. But has anyone noticed that there is still traffic? Why? Because 99% of drivers aren't following the basic rule of,"Keep Left Pass Right." So we find drivers doing between 80-100kph spread out across 3 lanes and causing those doing 120kph to bottle neck into the fast lane. Also, there are alot of extremely slow drivers driving 60-85kph that are not following this golden rule. If everyone starts driving the way they SHOULD HAVE been taught then maybe, just maybe, traffic may ease up a bit. oh, and there should also be law enforcement looking out for extremely slow drivers instead of sitting behind their speed cameras trying only to catch the speedsters. Get out there and patrol!

      kiren.pillay - 2012-11-12 13:39

      I normally do 100km/h in the slow lane from New Road to Bechleuch...its empty most of the time. Even the heavy trucks avoid this lane for some reason:/

      kiren.pillay - 2012-11-12 13:39

      I normally do 100km/h in the slow lane from New Road to Bechleuch...its empty most of the time. Even the heavy trucks avoid this lane for some reason:/

      hein.boucher - 2012-11-12 14:11

      This won't happen soon, because a lot of these drivers exceed the 200DMS limit (DMS = douchbag meters per second).

      hein.boucher - 2012-11-12 14:11

      This won't happen soon, because a lot of these drivers exceed the 200DMS limit (DMS = douchbag meters per second).

      wo0two0t - 2012-11-12 15:51

      I agree 100% there always has to be some slow idiot in the fast lane going at -20kmph the speed limit sometimes there is no one to the left of them why? These people are the people who should be shot not law abiding citizens.

      joe.irwin.50 - 2012-11-13 08:00

      The slow 3rd lane drivers on the 4 lane highways are my biggest frustration. I believe that they are the main cause of accidents also.

      gavin.badenhorst.9 - 2012-11-13 11:51

      If a road has major traffic congestion are you going to drive 120km per hour or are you going to slack down.With speed you usually get reckless driving that cause accidents.On the road I travel the biggest fear are truck that speed fully loaded and everyday that road has accidents.

      ebon.geist - 2012-11-13 14:39

      @Fuzzy: People need to drive at speeds appropriate to the conditions. However I agree with the posters above that a lot of traffic congestion is caused by people driving too slowly for the lane they have chosen under the prevailing traffic conditions. Our new highways have 4-5 lanes between most of Pretoria and Jo'burg, yet every day I see people gravitating towards the second fastest lane as if the 2-3 lanes to their left don't exist. This kind of mindless behaviour on our roads absolutely contributes to congestion, even though the perpetrators are most likely too ignorant to ever recognise it.

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-11-13 16:28

      And stop sitting on the road dividers with cameras, causing the concertina effect between Olifantsfontein and New Road Traffic clears up after New Road, traveling south in the morning,

  • vaughan.lund - 2012-11-12 13:29

    After Tom Tom's Leap Year bug and the badly received Apple swap from Google to a Tom Tom based mapping system, thought Tom Tom was now a swear word.

  • fritz.duquesne - 2012-11-12 13:35

    "...congestion level for South Africa is at 25%, meaning travel time is reduced by 25% during heavy traffic." suerly, travel time is increased by congestion?

  • sargon.lunderstedt - 2012-11-12 13:35

    Worst day in Joburg Traffic - Every day.

      devon.naicker.1 - 2012-11-12 15:35

      Especially when it rains... :(

  • de.stig.9 - 2012-11-12 14:26

    Looks to me like this is an advertisement for tomtom more than news, in joburg theres traffic everyday

  • gary.dalton.75286 - 2012-11-12 14:57

    ...go live in Bloem then...only traffic there is sheep crossing the road...:) Great publicity for TOM TOM !

  • calliedj - 2012-11-12 16:12


  • steve.kotze01 - 2012-11-12 17:40

    When will GPS product suppliers make a product available which shows the least congested route (realtime) when traveling between two points. After an initial product release of this nature, software upgrades for miscellaneous hardware GPS products can be made available by the same supplier. Here is a marketing opportunity that I have already put to Garmin about two years ago without response. Anyone else out there willing to seize this opportunity? Where are the budding 'Shuttleworths' in our country? DA Councillor Steve Kotze (Jhb)

  • dave.ducker.3 - 2012-11-12 17:48

    I live in Durban but travel extensively to both JHB/PTA and CPT, when there I'm either on the road by 6am or I wait till around 9am in between its just not worth it ! Durban has it's moments specially the N2 North coming into DBN ! so if you can stay at home do some work and then travel much more productive that way ;)

  • luren.pillay - 2012-11-12 17:49

    Friday mornings are the worst, not the best.

  • NeoAcheron - 2012-11-12 18:06

    Bah... Tom Tom always wants more money. My old Tom Tom XL now needs map updates that cost over 700 bucks... Also the new one's you pay extra for the fancy traffic info, when my Android phone can give all of the map updates and traffic info to me for FREE! Also find Google's maps a little bit better to use due to the more up to date points of interest and streetview. I will never buy a Tom Tom product again.

  • shaunisaac.malambo - 2012-11-12 19:42

    can't imagine life on the road without my via 125 live

  • theo.dubruyn.9 - 2012-11-13 17:34

    Don't tell us how bad it is tell us how to fix it!!!

  • jamesrw.wadsworth - 2012-11-14 09:31

    Hey, does anyone remember those crappy adds from Sanral with acronyms which basically said I cannot believe how fast I got to work bullshyte? Yeah right!

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