national household transport survey 2020

Photo: Stats SA

National Household Travel Survey 2020: How Stats SA’s research will affect you

The data will help shape the national transport planning and policymaking activities of the Department of Transport.

national household transport survey 2020

Photo: Stats SA

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) and the Department of Transport (DoT) will embark on a very important research project known officially as the National Household Travel Survey 2020.

National Household Travel Survey 2020: What is this, why should we be bothered?

Stats SA will be leading a very crucial qualitative research project. For three months, the state-owned statistics agency will collect qualitative data on the travel patterns of South Africans.

The research project will involve a sample size of 0.1% (65 000) of South Africa’s population, tested across all nine provinces. The first time a project of this magnitude was attempted was in 2003.

50 000 households were observed back then and according to Stats SA, the data was useful in shaping the “national transport planning and policymaking activities of the DoT.”

Financial issues hampered the delivery of the second National Household Travel Survey, in 2008 (the project is renewed every five years). The research project only got funding in 2012, and thus, the last national survey was conducted in 2013.

Stats SA looks to technology to solve past bugs

The stats agency has admitted that in the past, data collection and final reporting has been hampered by gross inaccuracies. Without the aid of technology and resources, the 2013 report was marred with errors.

“Several problems were experienced with the execution of this project, the main one being poor responses related to the destination of school and work travel, [poorly] reported incomes as well as the long turnaround time between collection and dissemination. Even though the data was collected between February and March 2013, the first report was available only one year later (March 2014),” Stats SA said in a statement.

It was realised that the previous pen-and-paper interview (PAPI) data collection method was not appropriate for the scale of the research project.

That is why in 2020, the National Household Travel Survey will be conducted using the computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) method.

“International best practice for transport surveys also points to the use of CAPI rather than PAPI, given the importance of location and geography in relation to the primary objectives of these surveys,” the stats agency added.

When will the research project start?

The research will commence on Friday, 31 January, and end on Friday, 20 March.

National Household Travel Survey 2020: What does it seek to achieve?

in the end, these are the objectives the National Household Travel Survey will seek to achieve:

  • to assist in identifying the disadvantaged regions and transport needs for investment in transport infrastructure;
  • to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) as required by the National Land Transport Act and the National Land Transport Strategic Framework;
  • to understand the travel choices of different market segments;
  • to determine the extent of accessibility to opportunities such as work, education, markets, medical, police and welfare, social and municipal services;
  • to understand the transport needs and behaviour of households;
  • to ascertain the cost of transport to households;
  • to measure usage of non-motorised transport in households;
  • to assess the accessibility of public transport for people with disabilities and elders in the community;
  • to assess attitudes towards transport services, facilities and the quality of transport facilities which they are required to use;
  • to measure the availability, ownership and use of motor cars;
  • to assist with the effective targeting of subsidies for public transport.