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SA roads during festive season. Image: Twitter/@N3Route

Home » Near-record traffic in SA logged this FESTIVE season already

Near-record traffic in SA logged this FESTIVE season already

With Christmas only a week away traffic in SA has already spiked to near-record levels, with another surge expected this week.

20-12-23 13:06
highway driving SA
SA roads during festive season. Image: Twitter/@N3Route

With a week to go to Christmas, traffic in SA this festive season has already reached near-record levels. According to TimesLive, tens of thousands of motorists have traversed SA’s major toll roads in the first week of holidays already.

According to the report, from Thursday 14 December to Saturday 16 December 2023, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) logged 32 767 motorists that passed outbound through Huguenot Tunnel, while 20 375 cars entered heading in bound to Cape Town.


busiest day on South African roads
Brace for busiest day on South African roads. Friday 15 December 2023. Picture: Hippo.

We already reported on what was likely to be the busiest day on South African roads, as motorists took advantage of the Rugby World Cup public holiday long weekend to get to their holiday destinations.

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But the RTMC warns of traffic in SA seeing another spike this week in the run-up to Christmas long weekend, which falls on a Monday. Thankfully, traffic volumes across the country will enjoy a huge dip as families gather on the 25-26 December and then again just before New Years Day.


cars at toll gate.
Image via Twitter @outtactrl.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said the closure of SA’s remaining businesses throughout the week before Christmas will see yet more holidaymakers on the roads. The next anticipated traffic peaks in traffic will be on 21-23 December.

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South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) Western Cape regional manager, Randall Cable, noted that Friday 15 December 2023 was the busiest day for traffic in SA to date. 14 682 left Cape Town through the Huguenot Toll Plaza compared to 12 250 on Thursday. On Saturday, this halved as 6 428 left Cape Town compared to 4 289 arriving in the city.


Tolls on the N1 this December in SA
What you’ll pay for tolls on the N1 this December in SA. Picture: File.

Meanwhile, the Pumulani Plaza on the N1 from Gauteng to Limpopo recorded 1 586 vehicles an hour. Carousel toll gate recorded 1 693 vehicles an hour travelling North. N3 Tugela Toll Plaza in KwaZulu-Natal recorded 497 vehicles per hour travelling north and 836 South.

Routes expected to remain congested for the rest of the week include:

  • N2 South – Cape Town to Garden Route.
  • N2 North Coast – Durban to Tongaat.
  • N4 East — Pretoria to Mbombela.
  • N1 North — Pretoria to Polokwane.
  • N3 South — Johannesburg to Durban.
  • N1 South — Huguenot Tunnel to Cape Town.

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