WIT Press

South African Public Opinion On The State Of Urban Transport: An Appraisal Of The Achievement Of Policy Objectives


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1 - 12




670 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. J. Heyns, R. Luke


Democracies require public participation and depend on having an engaged and well-informed and responsive electorate. Even though public participation is entrenched in the South African Constitution (1996), service delivery protests over recent years seem to indicate that the citizens do not believe that their concerns are being considered. Public transport policy in South Africa is currently described by a number of documents, mainly the White Paper on National Transport Policy, the National Development Plan and, more recently, the National Transport Masterplan (NATMAP). An annual survey of 1,000 South Africans is conducted to gauge opinion on transport related matters. The purpose of this paper is to consider the latest 2015 survey results and compare public opinion on urban transport with the current public transport policies and initiatives to determine the extent to which the public believe the policy objectives are being met. The results show that transport policy is relatively strongly aligned with the urban transport needs of the population however South Africans are still very concerned about the state of transport in the country, ranking it as their third highest concern after education and health. In practice, although the policies intend to address these issues, accessibility, availability, reliability, safety and affordability are not yet considered to be at satisfactory levels. The paper highlights the general public’s major areas of concern regarding public transport, which should therefore be flagged as priorities by local and national government. This research makes a novel contribution in being the only annual public opinion survey (and therefore trend barometer) on transport matters in South Africa.


urban transport, transport policy, public opinion, South Africa