Land transport survey by Stats South Africa

Slight increase reported in 2016

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Stats SA’s Land Transport Survey shows the volume of goods transported (payload) increased by 1,0% in 2016 compared with 2015 in South Africa.

The corresponding income increased by 4,4% over the same period –  see Table 2.

In December 2016 the volume of goods transported (payload) increased by 5,7% year-on-year. The corresponding income increased by 13,1% over the same period.


Income from freight transportation increased by 9,5% in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the fourth quarter of 2015.

The main contributors to this increase were: primary mining and quarrying products (22,7% and contributing 7,4 percentage points); and manufactured food, beverages and tobacco products (19,4% and contributing 2,6 percentage points) – see Table B.

Seasonally adjusted payload increased by 2,2% in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the third quarter of 2016.

Rail freight grew by 4,9% (contributing 1,3 percentage points), while road freight grew by 1,1% (contributing 0,8 of a percentage point) –  see Table C.

The number of passenger journeys decreased by 13,4% in 2016 compared with 2015. The corresponding income decreased by 0,1% over the same period –  see Table 9.

In December 2016 the number of passenger journeys decreased by 3,7% year-on-year. The corresponding income decreased by 0,5% over the same period.

Seasonally adjusted passenger journeys increased by 0,5% in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the third quarter of 2016.

Rail passenger journeys decreased by 1,8% (contributing -1,1 percentage points), while road passenger journeys grew by 3,9% (contributing 1,6 percentage points) –  see Table E.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) conducts a monthly survey of the land transportation industry, covering passenger and freight transportation by rail and road (see paragraph 4 below).

This survey is based on a sample drawn from the 2016 business sampling frame (BSF) that contains businesses registered for value-added tax (VAT) and income tax.

In order to improve timeliness, some information for the latest month had to be estimated due to late response. These estimates will be revised in future statistical releases as soon as information becomes available.

Published land transportation income estimates exclude VAT.

The results of the monthly land transport survey are used to compile estimates of the gross domestic product (GDP) and its components, which are used in monitoring the state of the economy and formulation of economic policy.

These statistics are also used in the analysis of comparative business and industry performance.

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