Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is embarking on a National Household Travel Survey (NHTS 2020) from end of January until 20 March 2020.
The NHTS 2020 is done on behalf of the Department of Transport and is used for policy interventions in public transport policy and measures travel patterns of South Africans.
The first NHTS was conducted in 2003, with Stats SA only providing data collection. That survey covered a representative sample of 50 000 dwelling units (DUs) nationwide, and 45 000 DUs were successfully interviewed. Stats SA only did data collection. The information that was gathered was used for national transport planning and policymaking activities of the DoT. .
Despite the fact that a second travel survey was supposed to be conducted after 5 years, i.e. in 2008, the financial resources were only made available in 2012 and the second NHTS was conducted between January and March 2013. This survey also had a sample size of 51 300 DUs and culminated in one national and nine provincial reports. Reporting was done at provincial and district council levels in cases where district councils were large enough. This particular survey was fully funded, and in addition to data collection, Stats SA was also responsible for the production of one national and nine provincial reports. Subsequent to that, three thematic reports were also produced using this data.
Several problems were experienced with the execution of this project, the main one being poor responses related to the destination of school and work travel, poor reported incomes as well as the long turnaround time between collection and dissemination. Even though the data was collected between February and March 2013, the first report was available only one year later (March 2014). These problems may be significantly reduced since the NHTS 2020 will be conducted using the Computer-assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) rather than the Pen-and-Paper Interview (PAPI). International best practice for transport surveys also points to the use of CAPI rather than PAPI, given the importance of location and geography in relation to the primary objectives of these surveys.Prior to the 2013 survey, a pilot survey was conducted on a small scale – mainly to test the questionnaire, its contents, and the training manual. Preparations for the pilot survey started in 2010 with stakeholder consultation related to the questionnaire. The NHTS 2020 will follow a similar approach and objectives to the 2013 survey. The NHTS test was conducted in 2019 on a small scale – mainly to test the questionnaires, training manual and quality assurance program. The test was executed in three provinces, namely North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. Forty primary sampling units and 500 DUs were sampled in each province.
The NHTS 2020 will be conducted between January and March 2020 across nine provinces with a sample size of 65 000 DUs in all 52 districts.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is a government agency mandated under the Statistics Act (Act No. 6 of 1999) to collect information from the South African public.
Stats SA is responsible for producing economic and social statistics through data collected from households, businesses and administrative sources. These statistics relate to things like transport; employment; poverty; manufacturing and production; health and vital statistics; and population statistics.
Statistics enables institutions such as government, businesses, and other organisations to make informed decisions in terms of planning, monitoring and assessment of policies and programmes.
The mission of the Department of Transport (DOT) is to lead the development of integrated efficient transport systems by creating a framework of sustainable policies, regulations and implementable models to support government strategies for economic, social and international development.
The objectives that the Department aims to achieve by providing policy framework, regulation, and implementation models are competitive transport costs; safety and security improvements; a reduction in infrastructure backlogs; improvement in access; and a reduction of time in transit.
The main objective of the survey is to understand the transport needs and behaviour of households and individuals, to assess attitudes towards transport services and facilities, to ascertain the cost of transport and to determine accessibility to services (work, health, education, and others).
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