Stats SA’s NHTS aims to inform transport planning

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                                                                     29  January  2020

                                                             Stats SA’s NHTS aims to inform transport planning

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is conducting the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS 2020) and will be visiting 65 000 dwelling units across the country’s 52 districts.

The research, one of South Africa’s largest sample surveys, is funded by the Department of Transport. The data will be used to inform the department’s public transport policy and aspects of scholar transport.

Transport planners use the report to assess road infrastructure needs, affordability of public transport, how and how far people commute from home to work.

As the national statistics office embarks on this data collection exercise, Mr Risenga Maluleke, South Africa’s Statistician-General and head of Stats SA, is appealing to repondents to cooperate with the statistical agency’s field staff.

At least 439 field staff – 368 survey officers and 71 supervisors – went into the field this week to collect information on transport patterns and transport modes South Africans use to go to school or work.

Data collection ends on 20 March 2020 and a statistical report is expected to be released by October this year.

“The NHTS is the only reliable source of data on South Africans’ travel behaviour,’ said Mr Maluleke, adding that the main objective of the survey was to measure the transport needs and travel behaviour of individuals and households.

“We want to assess attitudes towards transport services and facilities, ascertain the cost of public transport and establish whether households have access to places of work, education institutions and health facilities,” said the Statistician-General.

“This data sourced allows policymakers and planners to assess the spending patterns of South Africans on public transport, assess most-used modes of transport and enable lawmakers to make better policy interventions on various needs,” said Maluleke.

The transport sector is one of  South Africa’s socio-economic drivers and good public transport policy needs to be informed by sound statistical data to measure impact and policy interventions.

The report will also inform the national transport policy framework on various socio-economic conditions and structural patterns that are prevalent in the country.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transport has urged South Africans to rally behind the survey, which is conducted independently by Stats SA.

In terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed, the Department of Transport will use the new baseline statistics to provide information to help understand the transport problems South Africans face and gain insight into travel patterns of everyone and make evidence-based policy decisions.

It is commonly accepted that when transport systems are efficient, they provide economic and social opportunities with benefits that result in a positive multiplier effect, such as better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments.

This is South Africa’s third household travel survey, with the first one conducted in 2003  and the second in 2013.

Stats SA fieldworkers can be identified through the official Stats SA Identification (ID) Card displaying the Stats SA logo, the fieldworker’s photograph and the unique number of the fieldworker.

Respondents can also contact the Stats SA call centre toll-free on 0800 110 248 to verify the legitimacy of the fieldworkers visiting their homes. Respondents may also visit the Stats SA website,, for online verification of fieldworkers.

For media inquiries contact:

Felicia Sithole

Tel: (012) 339 2401

Cell: 076 430 0693


Issued by Statistics South Africa