Survey shows Gauteng residents revert to pre-Covid-19 travel patterns
4TH NOVEMBER 2022
BY: SCHALK BURGER
CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
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The most recent Covid-19 Gauteng Household Travel Survey (GHTS) prepared by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for the Gauteng Roads, Transport and Logistics department, showed that people are reverting to pre-Covid-19 travel patterns for work, education, shopping and medical purposes.
Two years after the first survey, daily traffic volumes on selected freeways in Gauteng are rising, with petrol consumption rising to pre-Covid-19 volumes.
Most respondents indicated that they were unlikely to change their working, education and shopping arrangements from the pre-Covid-19 era. Indications are that private transportation will continue to be used as the main mode of transport for all purposes in the future.
People in low-, medium- and high-living standard groupings are not expected to experience any significant changes in their work travel patterns.
The most predominant modes of travel for medical purposes, both before and during Covid-19, were cars at 34% before and 33% during the period and walking all the way at 30% both before and during the Covid-19 impacted period.
The most predominant modes of travel for shopping, both before and during Covid-19, were cars as the driver and commuter taxi/minibus taxi – accounting for 83% of shopping trips.
The report also shows that about 57% of all those interviewed indicated that they were unlikely to work from home (WFH) full time in the future, while 36% anticipated WFH full time. About 7% indicated that they were unsure whether they would continue to WFH full time in the future.
The first Covid-19 GHTS carried out a supplementary survey to measure the extent to which travel behaviour changed during the different Covid-19 alert levels and, in so doing, projected future trends in the industry. The objective was to generate findings that guide, improve and innovate strategic transport planning in the province.
The survey sampled 4 000 households spread throughout the metropolitan and district municipalities of the province. The survey resulted in a weighted total of 4 951 138 households in Gauteng.
The provincial government would continue to work with local government bodies to ensure that the results of the survey informed their responsibilities as planning authorities, said Gauteng Roads, Transport and Logistics‘ Kedibone Diale-Tlabela.
“Through investing in surveys such as this one, the province fulfills its constitutional mandate of ensuring that local government works as it should. We applaud the CSIR for its hard work and providing our department with fact-based research that is essential to the province’s future transportation system planning,” she said.
“A large proportion of the population remains very vulnerable to system shocks. Consequently, government needs to use the results of the survey to ensure that public transport is appropriately financed.”
The CSIR sought to improve the efficiency, safety, cost-effectiveness and reliability of transport networks to minimise the cost of doing business and improve the quality of life, said CSIR Smart Society group executive Dr Sandile Malinga.
“We appreciate the opportunity that we have been given by the provincial department. The CSIR is increasingly becoming the partner of choice for providing research, development and innovation solutions to other State-owned entities, government departments and municipalities, in line with our mandate,” said Malinga.
He thanked the Gauteng department for the support and said the CSIR looked forward to continuing to work with the department for the betterment of the lives of South Africans