Stuck in traffic? Cape Town's transport system is among world's best

25 May 2018 - 13:17 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Cape Town comes sixth of the middle-income country cities behind Beijing‚ Kuala Lumpur‚ Moscow‚ Shanghai and Mexico City‚ and top of Africa.
Cape Town comes sixth of the middle-income country cities behind Beijing‚ Kuala Lumpur‚ Moscow‚ Shanghai and Mexico City‚ and top of Africa.
Image: Cape Town Tourism / Craig Howes

The city of Cape Town is ranked 24 out of 31 leading cities globally for its transport system‚ its business-friendly environment‚ the cost of living and doing business.

This is a finding from a report issued by PwC on Friday‚ ‘Cape Town – African City of Opportunity’‚ which forms part of PwC’s bi-annual Cities of Opportunity analysis. It aims to provide a balanced benchmarking of the social and economic health of many of the world’s leading business cities.

Jon Williams‚ head of Cities & Urbanisation at PwC Africa says: “Cape Town is a city with strong fundamentals‚ aspiring talent and a palpable excitement‚ set against a backdrop of inequality‚ which is borne out of the country’s past but which will play a role in the city’s future.”

Cape Town’s strongest scores were in areas including cost‚ ease of doing business‚ transportation and infrastructure‚ and sustainability and the natural environment‚ with moderate scores in intellectual capital and innovation and health‚ safety and security.

Areas the city needs to improve on are economic clout‚ technology readiness‚ city gateway‚ and demographics and liveability.

Overall‚ Cape Town comes sixth of the middle-income country cities behind Beijing‚ Kuala Lumpur‚ Moscow‚ Shanghai and Mexico City‚ and top of Africa.

Implications for government‚ aside from the current water crisis‚ include strengthening local‚ national‚ public and private collaboration‚ fully embracing digital technology and data‚ and building on the success of tourism.

“With an unemployment rate 13 points lower than the national figure‚ and 10 points lower than the average metro‚ Cape Town is truly a city of opportunity for millions of people‚” Williams said.

“The city is leveraging its memberships on some of the world’s most influential urban forums‚ such as C40 Cities‚ 100 Resilient Cities and the Partnership for Healthy Cities‚ to further expand these opportunities.”

In order for the city to deliver its developmental‚ social and economic objectives and to compete on the global stage‚ it is important to understand what’s working well and which areas need to improve‚ Williams suggested.

“This study provides useful insights to answer that question by assessing Cape Town against 30 of the world’s leading cities across ten indicators of urban success: intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; city gateway; health‚ safety and security; sustainability and the natural environment; demographics and liveability; transportation and infrastructure; economic clout; ease of doing business; and cost.”

While the city scored well in the transportation category‚ it has a chronic traffic congestion problem.

TimesLIVE reported two years ago that Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa.

TomTom‚ which used data from 2015‚ said that Cape Town was the most congested city in South Africa for the third year running. Of 174 countries ranked globally on congestion‚ Cape Town was 47th.

The report said Cape Town motorists spent 152 extra hours a year behind the wheel because of traffic congestion. This translates to more than six extra days in traffic over a year‚ or an extra 40 minutes a day. 

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