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Statistics South Africa on Gender patterns in Transport, 2013 report

23 Nov 2016

Gender Series Volume III: Gender patterns in Transport, 2013

The Gender patterns in Transport, 2013 report released by Statistics South Africa today shows that a large proportion (28%) of the 14, 9 million working age population drives themselves to a place of employment. A majority of those who drove their own cars, bakkies, trucks or lorries to work were male (2,9 million or 31,8%) while a little more than a fifth of females (22,9%) drove themselves to places of employment. A large proportion (27,6%) of females used a taxi to get to work. Close to a fifth of males (1, 6 million or 19,2%) and females (1,3 million or 19,5%) walked from their homes to their place of work.

Generally, females were more likely to use public transport, except for trains, and as vehicle passengers. For females, the use of public transport was most prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal (45,3%), Mpumalanga (42,8%), North West (42,5%) and Gauteng (41,8%). Across all provinces, the use of buses or trains as a form of public transport to get to work was lower than taxis. However, the percentages of females in Mpumalanga (18,8%), North West (11,1%) and Limpopo (10,4%) who used buses and those who used trains in Western Cape (11,6%) were noticeable.

Driver’s licenses

The proportion of persons aged 18 and over with a driver’s license increased by 16% over the 10-year period between 2003 and 2013. The largest proportional increase in the possession of driver’s licenses increased was among black African females, with 122% over this period. The white population group was most likely to be in possession of a driver's license than any other population group with a 79% in 2003 and 84% in 2013, while the black African population group was least likely to be in possession of a driver’s license with 12% and 17% in 2003 and 2013, respectively. There was an increase in the number of driver's licenses for all population groups except for Indian/Asians that saw a decline of one percent from 2003 to 2013.

Between 2003 and 2013, the percentage of females in possession of a driver’s license increased by 27%. Black African females were least likely to possess a driver's license in both 2003 and 2013.

Mode of transport to education institutions

As the table above shows, whites and Indians/Asians were most likely to drive to institutions of higher learning.

With the exception of coloureds, males in all population groups were more likely to drive to a post-secondary education and training (PSET) institution than their female counterparts. The percentage gap was biggest among the Indian/Asian population group with 13,7 percentage points. Among the coloured population group, 15,4% of females were likely to drive as opposed to 13,6% of the males.

Percentages of people who were driven to institutions of higher learning were higher among the white and Indian/Asian population groups. It is important to note that females recorded higher percentages than males for black African and white population groups. With the exception of whites, females in all population groups used taxis to institutions of higher learning more than their female counterparts.

The coloured and black/African population groups were most likely to walk to a higher learning institution. Among the coloured population group it was females who had a higher likelihood than their male counterparts with 22,6% and 12,4% respectively, while it was more males than females among black Africans with 18,7% and 17,2% respectively. The Indian/Asian and white population groups were least likely to walk.

Factors affecting choice mode of transport

In 2013, the main reasons for the choice of transport for all population groups were mainly based on travel time and travel costs. Safety from accidents and flexibility were also significant motives. 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.

The full statistical release is available on the Statistics South Africa website:

For technical enquiries:
Ms Kefiloe Masiteng
Deputy Director General: Population and Social Statistics
Tel: 012 310 2109

Dr Isabelle Schmidt
Chief Director: Social Statistics
Tel: 012 337 6379

Media enquiries:
Ms Lesedi Dibakwane
Director: Media Relations
Tel: 012 310 8578
Cell: 082 805 7088

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