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Traffic Congestion in South Africa on the rise with Johannesburg topping the list

Nov 06 2013

Traffic Congestion in South Africa on the rise with Johannesburg topping the list


Johannesburg, 6 November 2013– TomTom today released the 6th edition of its Traffic Index, which reveals that on average, commuters around South Africa are spending 3.5 working days a year stuck in traffic.

The Traffic Index is the world’s most accurate barometer of traffic congestion in 169 cities across six continents. It compares travel times during non-congested hours with travel times in peak hours. The Index takes into account local roads and highways and based on these comparisons, South African areas included in the report that were globally ranked by their overall Congestion Level, in Q2 2013, have been ranked as the following:

20. Johannesburg¹ - 31%

35. East Rand North² - 28%

45. Cape Town - 27%

67. Pretoria³ - 23%

95. Durban - 20%

106. East Rand South4 - 18%


Globally, the top 10 most congested cities were:

1. Moscow

2. Istanbul

3. Rio de Janeiro

4. Warsaw

5. Palermo

6. Marseille

7. Sao Paulo

8. Rome

9. Paris

10. Stockholm

“We are seeing a clear pattern which shows that congestion levels increase in South Africa as the migration levels from rural areas and towns to cities is increasing rapidly. The traditional responses to tackling congestion, like building new roads or widening existing ones are no longer proving effective. The way traffic is managed needs significant change,” says TomTom South Africa's Country Manager, Daan Henderickx.

The Traffic Index is based on detailed knowledge of the global road network and aims to help drivers, businesses and governments manage traffic congestion effectively. Despite the fact that the majority of city populations are low income earners who depend on walking or make use of public transport, car ownership is increasing rapidly.

 “The findings from the Traffic Index also show that real-time traffic information has the potential to ease congestion in urban areas by routing drivers away from gridlock, and help commuters to make smarter decisions.” added Henderickx.

To download the Traffic Index reports, go to


Notes to Editor

Definition of South African Areas:

¹ Johannesburg areas includes Soweto, Roodepoort, Sandton, Bedfordview, Alberton, Johannesburg South, the ring A3-A12-N1 western bypass and the R558 between Roodepoort and Soweto

² East Rand North areas includes Midrand, Tembisa, Kempton Park, and basically the ring A1-A3-R24-R21-R562

³ Pretoria areas includes Centurion, Moreletapark, Silverton, the A4 east of Akasia, the A14 north of the junction with the A1 and the A1 between the junctions with the A4 and the A14

4 East Rand South areas includes Boksburg, Benoni, Brakpan, Springs, the A17 east of the junction with the A3, part of the A3 and some area in between the A3 and the A17


Based on these comparisons the top ten most congested cities, ranked by overall Congestion Level, in Q2 2013 are:

1. Moscow - 65%

2. Istanbul - 57%

3. Rio de Janeiro - 50%

4. Warsaw - 44%

5. Palermo - 40%

6. Marseille - 40%

7. Sao_Paulo - 39%

8. Rome - 36%

9. Paris - 36%

10. Stockholm - 36%

About the TomTom Traffic Index

Separate South African,  European, North American and Australia/New Zealand Traffic Index reports are available.

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