The bus industry in South Africa has for many years made a vital contribution to the economic and social development of the country.
As a provider of bus services, it has and continues to provide mobility to millions of people who are dependent on public transport, for example, learners who require transport to and from school, workers who require transport to and from their jobs, and individuals who are seeking employment or access to hospitals and other services.
Available statistics indicate that 70 per cent of South Africa’s population is dependent on public transport (bus, commuter rail and taxis) for its mobility needs.
There are about 25,000 buses in the industry in South Africa of which about 19 000 are involved in formal public transport activities (for reward).
The other 6 000 buses are found in commerce and industry and government institutions where they are mostly used for in-house purposes (not for reward).
The economic impact of buses used for public transport can be summarised as follows:
- The 19 000 buses have an estimated replacement value of 4billion
- The public transport buses travel an estimated 40 billion kilometres per annum and use about 506 million litres of diesel fuel
- This section of the industry provides direct employment to about 34 200 people throughout the country with about 171 000 people indirectly dependent on the industry (directly related to employment in companies)
- The public transport operators undertake approximately 912 million passenger trips per annum
- The industry also supports a large number of suppliers such as bus and chassis manufacturers, fuel companies, tyre companies, glass and spare part companies, insurance companies etc. that are also in some way dependent on the industry for employment