Minibus driving behaviour on the Cape Town to Mthatha Route

Booysen, Marthinus J. ; Ebot, N. A. ; Akpa, E. N. O. (2014-07)

Conferende theme: Leading transport into the future

Please cite as follows:

Booysen, M. J., Ebot, N. A. & Akpa, E. N. O. 2014. Minibus Driving Behaviour on the Cape Town to Mthatha Route paper delivered at the 33rd annual Southern African Transport Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre Pretoria, South Africa on 7 - 10 July 2014.


Minibus taxis are considered to be notoriously dangerous and are seen as the epitome of bad driving in South Africa in particular, and Sub-Saharan Africa in general. Minibus taxis are used for long-distance and urban travel. This paper focuses on long-distance travel, and considers one of the routes with a high number of fatalities, namely the 1200km route travelled between Cape Town and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. The paper presents the analysis of speed and location information, gathered by voluntary tracking of various taxis completing the notorious round trip over weekends and festive seasons. The results clearly demonstrate that no regard is paid to the legal limit of 100 km/h, with speeds of up to 159km/h recorded. Compared with normal passenger vehicles, the minibus taxis demonstrate similar speeding profiles, despite the lower speed limit. The results exhibit a speed dependence on route-section, direction of travel, departure time, and whether the driver is also the owner.

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