National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

Travel is a necessity

South Africans travel from their homes to places of work, education, healthcare, for business, for leisure and social activities daily. Travel is a necessity.

The increase in urbanisation and population numbers changes the demand for urban infrastructure and transport services. But, how can we know and understand transport needs and behaviour across the country?

The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) serves this purpose. It is a joint venture between Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) and the National Department of Transport (NDoT). It aims to:

  • Understand the transport needs and transport behaviour of households and individuals;
  • Assess attitudes towards transport services and facilities;
  • Ascertain the cost of transport; and
  • Determine accessibility to services (work, health, education, etc.)

Enumerators will collect information from the 65 000 sampled dwelling units across the country from January to March 2020, to deliver information to help the NDoT understand how and why people travel and gain insights into the transport problems and patterns of those living in South Africa.

Questions will be asked in relation to general travel patterns, education-related travel, work-related travel, business trips, general household information and household attitudes towards and perception of transport. As with all Stats SA surveys, the information provided is protected under the Statistics Act (Act No. 6 of 1999). Any Stats SA official who breaches the confidentiality clause will be liable to legal action.

The first NHTS was conducted in 2003. The information from this survey was used extensively for transport policy and strategy formulation, as well as planning at all spheres of government.

Stats SA also assisted the NDoT to conduct the second NHTS between January and March 2013. The study results suggested that barriers to mobility in the last ten years have been reduced, yet several challenges remain.

Over time, households living in rural areas reported better access to public transport and reduced travel times when compared to 2003. On the other hand, urban and metropolitan households tended to wait longer for transport than had been the case in 2003, and their journeys to work and school also took more time.

What will the NHTS 2020 tell us? The results are expected to be released during Transport Month in October 2020.

Key NHTS questions

How will the survey be conducted?

Stats SA survey officers will use a digital device that is loaded with the questionnaire to capture information. They will ask questions from the questionnaire.

How will you benefit from participating in the survey?

The travel patterns and transport needs of households will be generalised to the community. Your participation will directly assist the NDoT to develop policies that will improve transport planning in the country.

At which level will the results of the NHTS be reported?

It is expected that the NHTS 2020 will be reported at national, provincial and municipal levels.

Why it is necessary to participate if you have been selected?

A dwelling unit is scientifically selected and cannot be replaced with another as this will impact the statistical process. This means that information will not be collected from a household that refuses to participate, reducing the sample and ultimately affecting the response rate, which results in incomplete or inaccurate information being collected.

How to identify and verify a Stats SA official

All field staff should identify themselves by presenting an identity card issued by Stats SA. This will contain the photograph, name and ID number of the staff member. In addition, they will be wearing Stats SA branded clothing (bibs and caps), which will make them easily identifiable.

To verify a staff member or for information on NHTS 2020 in your province, please contact:

Province Contact person
Western Cape  

Tasneem Solomons

Email address:

Tel: 0828882287


Eastern Cape  

Obed Shigadhla

Email address:

Tel: 0828882253

Northern Cape  

Tebogo Maseng

Email address:

Tel: 0836818136

Free State  

Nthabiseng Chakela

Email address:

Tel: 0829410706


Jenny Naidoo

Email address:

Tel: 0828882162


Ncane Mdluli

Email address:

Tel: 0828829118

Northern Cape  

Tebogo Maseng

Email address:

Tel: 0836818136

North West  

Vincent Modise

Email address:

Tel: 0716184112


Tshwarelo Mokoena

Email address:

Tel: 0827782197


Louis Masilela

Email address:

Tel: 0762633147


Kgole Ramaboea

Email address:

Tel: 0828882557

For more information on the survey, visit