Which South African province has the most driving licences? Surprise!


The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) 2013 has been released by Statistics South Africa.

The survey looks at transport, licensing and travel patterns affecting South African households from 2003-13.

The survey, conducted every 10 years by Stats SA, researches, plans and implements projects and programmes in the transport department.


The results revealed the number of people aged 18 and older with a driving licence per province from 2003 and 2013.

Possession of driving licence:
Western Cape – 4 079 000 (16.2%)
Eastern Cape – 3 936 000 (6.4%)
Northern Cape – 741 000 (1.5%)
Free State –  1 817 000 (4.9%)
kwaZulu-Natal – 6 313 000 (14.3%)
North West – 2 275 000 (4.9%)
Gauteng – 9 013 000 (38.7%)
Mpumalanga – 2 555 000 (6.5%)
Limpopo – 3 267 000 (6.6%)
Total 33 997 000

According to the NHTS, since 2003 the percentage of the population 18 and older possessing a driving licence has increased in all provinces except North West (8.1% to 4.9% in 2013).

In 2013, Gauteng had the highest number of people in possession of a driving licence with 38.7%, followed by Western Cape (16%) and kwaZulu-Natal (14.3%).

Results showed that the Northern Cape had the fewest road users with a driving licence, accounting for less than two percent of the national total.


The report revealed that Gauteng has nearly half of the road users aged 18 years and older with a motorcycle licence (49.9%) followed by Western Cape (20.5%),  followed by in KwaZulu-Natal (11.9%). The Northern Cape had the lowest at 0.5%.

Gauteng (nearly 42%) dominates with those in possession of a light motor vehicle licence followed by Western Cape (21.2%) and KwaZulu-Natal (13.4%). Northern Cape (1.4%) and Limpopo (2.9%) remain the lowest contributors to the national total.

The NHTS showed, 33.4%) of all heavy vehicle licences were obtained in Gauteng followed by KwaZulu-Natal (15.3%), Limpopo (13.9%) and Mpumalanga (11.6%). The Western Cape and North West contributed equal percentages to the national total with 6.9% respectively, whilst Eastern Cape (5.0%) and Free State (5.2%) also had similar, yet relatively low percentages.


The 2003 – 2013 report summarised the following South African road users top peeves – “Taxis too expensive, reckless driving, taxis too far, no buses at specific times, crime and congestion.”

One in ten households thought that taxis were too expensive; Households in Mpumalanga (14.5%), Northern Cape (12.8%) and Limpopo (12.2%) were concerned about the cost of taxis.

What about reckless taxi drivers? Three of the country’s busiest provinces, Gauteng (10.3%), Western Cape (10.1%) and Mpumalanga (8.2%), identified this as a serious problem.


In Gauteng, more than half (52.6%) of train-users were not satisfied with the
distance between stations and their home. In Western Cape, more than 40% were unhappy with the same issue.

Nationally, 44.7% households were dissatisfied with the level of crowding in buses and  were equally dissatisfied with facilities at bus stops, such as toilets and offices.

Other problems raised by SA road users include:
• Lack of taxis at specific times
• No buses at specific times/late at night
• Taxis are too far to reach
• Congestion – Gauteng (6.3%) and Western Cape (6.2%)
• Crime: Western Cape (8.9%)
• No taxis available: Northern Cape (6.2%) and Limpopo (3.6%)

Unsurprisingly, 13.0% of households were concerned by poor road conditions. Provinces with the most complaints about the condition of roads were Eastern Cape (26.3%), Free State (21.0%), Limpopo (17.9%) and North West (19.8%).

Click here to read the full 2013 National Household Travel Survey (7Mb)


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