Transport in South Africa

Transport in South Africa


Approximately ten thousand people die on roads in South Africa yearly [cite web|year=1999-09-28|url=|title=South Africa's deadly roads |publisher=BBC News Online|accessdate=2006-07-18] .

The national speed limit is 50 or 60 km/h in residential areas, 100 km/h on motorways, and 120 km/h on national roads/freeways.

In 1996 the country had 358,596 km of highways, 59,753 km (17%) of which was paved (including 1,927 km of expressways).


In 2000, South Africa had 20,384 km of rail transport, all of it narrow gauge. 20,070 km was 1.067 m gauge (9,090 km of that electrified), with the remaining 314 km 0.610 m gauge. The operation of the country's rail systems is accomplished by Transnet subsidiaries Spoornet, Shosholoza Meyl, Metrorail, Transwerk, Protekon et al.

A feasibility study is to be conducted into the construction of a 720 km standard gauge line from Johannesburg to Durban for double-stack container trains ["International Railway Journal", 2005-01-03] .

Links exist to Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Railways linking Mozambique are under repair.



South Africa's major ports and harbours are Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, and Saldanha Bay. In 2006 the new port is to open: Ngqura, at Coega, which is 20 km northeast of Port Elizabeth. The administration and operation of the country's port facilities is done by two subsidiaries of Transnet, the National Ports Authority and South African Port Operations (SAPO).

In 2002, the merchant marine consisted of eight ships of 1,000 GRT or over, totaling 271,650 GRT/DWT|268,604|metric|first=yes. Six were container ships, and two were petroleum tankers (including foreign-owned ships registered as a flag of convenience: Denmark: 3, Netherlands: 1) .


There are 931 km of crude oil pipeline transport, 1,748 km for other petroleum products, and 322 km for natural gas. Petronet, a subsidiary of Transnet, which in turn is majority owned by the government, is principally responsible for the operation of South Africa's pipelines.


A number of urban tramway systems used to operate in South Africa, but the last system (Johannesburg) closed in 1961, see List of town tramway systems in Africa and Asia#South Africa.


External links

* [ Aviation, Airlines, Airports in South Africa]
* [ Department of Transport]
* [ Road statistics 2001/2003: distance travelled and fatal crashes by vehicle type and province] (PDF)
* [ Transnet Site]
* [ Travel Distances]

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