Peak traffic on the country’s national roads might occur earlier than normal because of the days on which December and January public holidays fall.
There will be no road construction works during the coming festive season, ensuring free traffic flow.
Peak traffic on the country’s national roads may occur earlier than usual because of the days on which December and January public holidays fall.
In addition, all public schools close on December 12, a Wednesday, and open on a Tuesday, a week after January 1.
Traffic will begin to pick up in the week of school closures and traffic volumes will become heavy from Friday, 14 December – the beginning of a long weekend as Monday is a public holiday with December 16 falling on a Sunday. It is also when the building industry closes.
As Christmas falls on a Tuesday, it can be expected that traffic will start peaking on the Friday before (December 21).
The end of the holiday period is also somewhat different: New Year’s Day is on a Tuesday, as is the day public schools re-open on January 8. This may mean peak traffic on the Mondays before.
Construction work halted
Vusi Mona, general manager: communications at the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL), said road construction work has been halted across the 22 214 km of freeways to improve safety and promote trouble-free journeys for people who will travel to holiday destinations.
The network stretches from the Beit Bridge Border Post in the north to the Cape Peninsula, and from Alexander Bay in the West to the coastlines of Mozambique, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Mona said an analysis of road volume statistics in previous years shows that high volumes of traffic should be expected on the national and provincial freeway system during specific days in December.
All three public holidays – the Day of Reconciliation, Christmas and New Year – are celebrated on, or close to weekends and this will result in higher volumes in the preceding days as people travel to destinations in time for celebrations.
The national road network is, however, in good-to-excellent shape and able to handle increases in traffic and even extremely high volumes at certain times.
The quality of the roads and collaboration between SANRAL, law enforcement agencies, provincial traffic authorities and emergency services will, no doubt, contribute to safer journeys.
Tools for travel
Motorists can use a variety of SANRAL tools to help plan their travel better. They can visit the SANRAL website, www.nra.co.za for help in organising their journeys.
SANRAL has made available a series of videos to help motorists with their journeys – what route to use, what to expect on the road, the estimated expenditure for tolls and rest spots on the route.
Motorists can also download the SANRAL App for the convenience of topping up their e-tag accounts from the comfort of their cars.
“The app can be downloaded for free on all Android and iOS devices also offers users information about road conditions, traffic congestion and incidents on the road and enables motorists to plan their journeys in advance,” explained Mona.
Road incidents can be reported to the National Traffic Control Centre on 012 665 6075 or South African Police Service on 10111.
- The busiest toll plazas will be Carousel, Pumulani and Kranskop on the N1 north, Middleburg on the N4, Marian Hill and Mooiriver on the N3 and Tongaat on the N2.
- The busiest routes will be the N1 to Beitbridge, N3 to Durban, N4 to Maputo and N2 North Coast.