South Africa in the grip of congestion

With two cities in the top 100 most congested cities in the world, South African business is grinding to a halt on our congested roads

South Africa, 18 December 2017 – According to TomTom Telematics research, a congestion level of 27% means South Africans now spend a whopping 119 extra travel hours a year on the roads.

In the most recent TomTom Traffic Index Report, South Africa is reported to have an average congestion level of 27%, resulting in 14.8 lost business days a year. This will come as no surprise to business owners and fleet managers who lose time and money to traffic jams daily.

Cape Town is once again the country’s most congested city, earning it a world ranking of 48. The 5% congestion increase experienced over the 2016 period resulted in 163 extra travel hours a year – that’s 20.3 business days lost to traffic and congestion. Johannesburg, ranked 70 in the world, saw a 3% increase resulting in 141 extra hours a year, or 17.6 business days.

The report found that Monday morning from 7am to 8am is the worst time to travel in 5 of the 6 most congested South African cities, although if you live in Bloemfontein, Tuesday mornings between 7am and 8am see the heaviest traffic. Cape Town experienced the most significant evening traffic, with congestion levels peaking from Tuesday to Friday.

East London, Pretoria, Durban and Bloemfontein have all seen an increase in congestion, according to the new report, with commuters losing out on between 8.5 (Bloemfontein) and 15.3 (Pretoria) extra business days a year.

Justin Manson, Business Development Manager at TomTom Telematics South Africa, says, “Traffic congestion is a reality that we all have to face, and it will not be going away anytime soon. Businesses that rely on a mobile workforce are impacted most negatively by congestion. In most cases the impact relates to loss of billable hours, fuel wastage, overtime paid, a negative impact on customer service, and of course the frustration and irritability that congestion causes the drivers.”

“It is imperative that any business with a mobile workforce, whether this entails deliveries, sales, maintenance, merchandising, etc, make use of a telematics solution that will keep drivers out of traffic congestion,” adds Manson. “The benefits are massive, less time spent in traffic means better customer service, more billable hours, less overtime and wasted fuel, and just as important – a less stressed mobile workforce. Knowing and understanding traffic patterns and congestion peaks will also help office staff to plan and dispatch drivers more efficiently.”

An effective telematics solution, such as WEBFLEET, helps fleet drivers avoid the most heavily congested routes. Real-time data gathered from thousands of devices across the country ensures drivers and fleet managers are able to plan the most cost- and fuel-efficient routes, avoid congestion and major traffic incidents, re-route quickly when necessary, and manage realistic ETAs. This results in time, fuel and cost savings, as well as an increase in service delivery efficiency, despite the ever-increasing congestion facing drivers today.

The TomTom Traffic Index can also help fleet managers plan routes and times that avoid the heaviest congestion – a win for drivers and business.

City Congestion Level Extra Travel Per Year (Hours)
Cape Town 35% 163
Johannesburg 30% 141
East London 29% 121
Pretoria 26% 123
Durban 22% 100
Bloemfontein 18% 68