Traffic congestion costs SA over R1bn
New forms of mobility are needed to ensure the escalating cost of traffic congestion is brought to a halt, Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said on Thursday.
“As it stands, the economic impact of congestion in the whole of South Africa is over R1-billion, and Johannesburg accounts for the highest loss with more than 1.5-million vehicles registered across the metropolitan,” he said.
“As the city’s economic hub and Africa’s richest square mile, Sandton is under threat of becoming a giant parking lot and subsequently collapsing our economic wellbeing.”
Speaking at the launch of the EcoMobility World Festival and Transport Month in Sandton, Tau said a number of roads in the city’s northern economic hub had been closed off to private vehicles for October.
“A healthy economy contributes to creating the safe, resilient and sustainable city envisioned by the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040,” Tau said. “However, realising this vision is being compromised as commuter numbers in Sandton continue to climb at 3.4% per annum.”
“Sandton is already one of the most congested places in South Africa. Daily, between 07:30 and 08:30, almost 150 000 people move in and out of Sandton,” Tau said. “And up to 70% of it is in private vehicles.”
“This is while the city is struggling to meet the annual 20% reduction target in its carbon footprint set for 2011/13 to 2015/16.”
Based on 2014 data, Johannesburg had only been able to decrease its total emissions by 0.7%.
“With all the interventions the city is currently rolling out in the Sandton area, together we can reduce the number of vehicles on the roads to 50%,” Tau said
“Ideally we should aim to reduce private vehicles to 43%, leaving 20% for buses, 10% for pedestrians and 3% for cyclists.”