Worrying increase in traffic volumes since lockdown extension
Johannesburg - It seems South Africans may have had enough of lockdown, with a significant increase in vehicle movement having been recorded since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two week extension in an attempt to curb the spread of the Corona-19 virus.
Tracker's anonymised vehicle tracking data, aggregated from the company’s installed vehicle base, and analytics from Lightstone indicate a significant increase of trips towards the end of last week.
Passenger vehicle activity had the most notable change. From 15 to 17 April people did 40 percent of the trips they did before lockdown, an increase from 22 percent of pre-lockdown trips done at the same time the previous week.
Visits to shopping centres and petrol stations also showed an upsurge, almost doubling on Thursday from the previous week.
More drivers could be on the road as the ease in regulations allows for more essential services after the extension announcement. However, it more than likely points to a negative shift in compliance, particularly because it started before Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s amendment announcement.
“The spreading of the virus is more likely with increased movement and interaction,” said Michael du Preez, Executive Product and Marketing at Tracker South Africa. “We appeal to people to continue to adhere to government’s call to stay home and only go out when necessary, for your safety and the safety of your fellow citizens.”
It's also possible that people went to restock after the initial 21-day lockdown said Linda Reid, Head of Data for Lightstone.
"With that period coming to an end, it’s possible that their supplies were running out, resulting in higher volumes of people needing to shop at the end of last week.”