Land transport survey Stats SA

Photo: George Steven / Pxhere

Stats SA: Land transport sector continues to make solid gains in June

The land transport sector has managed to overcome troubling economic conditions in South Africa to post encouraging growth.

Land transport survey Stats SA

Photo: George Steven / Pxhere

The land transport survey for June 2019 published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has shown income from freight transportation has grown for the 12th consecutive month.

Land transport bucking the trend

In these uncertain times in the South African economy it isn’t common to see a sector consistently performing and making gains.

However, the land transport sector seems intent on being the exception rather than the rule.

The volume of goods transported increased by 5.2% in June 2019, when compared to the corresponding period last year, which also resulted in income for growing by 4.3% over the same time frame.

Income from freight transportation also increased, by 4.4%, in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to 2018.

The main driver behind this is the increase in the movement of mining and quarrying products, which grew by 16.9% and contributed 6% to the overall total.

Encouraging and consistent growth in land transport sector

Seasonally-adjusted payload transportation increased by 1.6% in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to the first quarter of this year, which shows the growth is encouragingly continuing this year.

This growth was driven by a 1.4% increase in road freight (1.1% of the overall total) and a 2.3% increase in rail freight (0.5% of the overall total).

What this also shows is how skewed South African land transport is towards road travel and speaks a bit about the poor state of the country’s rail network.

Speaking of the country’s poor rail network, passenger journey’s across the board decreased by 15.3% in June 2019 when compared to the same period last year.

Passenger rail journeys suffer big drop

However, the corresponding income actually increased by 1.4% over the same time frame, which means people are traveling less and it is costing more.

Seasonally-adjusted passenger journeys were down 0.8% in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to the first three months of the year.

This is due mostly to rail passenger journeys decreasing by 12.4% (-5.2% of the overall total).

Predictably, this means that road passenger journeys increased (by 7.5%) but overall journeys were down suggesting people are arranging their own transport more often and are not relying on public transport.

Problems with public transport

Public transport has a very poor reputation in South Africa and it is only getting worse as nothing has been done to fix or modernise the infrastructure for quite some time.

The country is also known to have issues with its road network which takes a hammering every day due to the vast number of trucks that traverse South Africa on a daily basis.

Unlike many countries where internal freight transport is split between road and rail, South Africa relies heavily on its road transportation systems because of the insufficient capacity and reliability of trains.

You can read the full report by clicking here.