A vagrant roams an empty street desperate for some money from the few motorists out in Durban during lockdown. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad African News Agency (ANA)
A vagrant roams an empty street desperate for some money from the few motorists out in Durban during lockdown. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad African News Agency (ANA)

Vehicle tacking companies show movement has dropped 75% during lockdown

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Apr 11, 2020

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Durban - It appears that 75% of South Africans have been doing their bit to “flatten the curve” of the Covid-19 pandemic - according to statistics released by Tracker on vehicle tracking data and analytics by Lightstone.

Tracker said they studied vehicle movement and activity on the roads before and during the lockdown.

“Nationally South African vehicle activity had dropped by up to 20% before the lockdown relative to the corresponding day in early March and vehicle activity has subsequently plummeted 75% since the lockdown,” read the release on the statistics on the first week of lockdown.

Two days before the lockdown started, there was a slight increase in passenger vehicle activity which was “likely due to citizens shopping in preparation, which was also observed in the lengthy queues and sold out stock at stores at the time.

Provincially, Gauteng and the Western Cape demonstrated the highest compliance for staying off the roads, with passenger vehicle activity reducing between 75% and 80% during the first two days of lockdown.

The highest compliance from taxis and buses was observed in KwaZulu-Natal, with a 76% reduction in vehicle movement, while the highest reduction in commercial vehicles was observed in Gauteng at 73%.

Drilling down to a town level in the two most compliant provinces, Sandton in Gauteng and Durbanville, Franschhoek and Noordhoek in the Western Cape showed a greater than 90% reduction in vehicle movement.

The lowest stay-at-home compliance was observed in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu in the Western Cape with a reduction in vehicle activity of less than 50%. Towns like Blue Downs in the Western Cape and Soweto and Katlehong in Gauteng had only reduced their vehicle activity by between 60% and 70% in the first week of lockdown.

“It is great to see that the majority of South African citizens are staying at home,” said Michael du Preez, executive: product and marketing at Tracker South Africa.

“We encourage you to continue to restrict your movements. Only go out when necessary, for your safety and the safety of your fellow citizens,” he said.

Linda Reid, head of data for Lightstone, said: “It is important to note that not all areas will be able to curtail movement to the same extent. Some areas are more likely to have greater numbers of people who are still travelling as essential services workers.”

The Independent on Saturday

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