South Africa - Transportation



South Africa's transportation network is among the most modern and extensive on the continent. In 2002, there were an estimated 358,596 km (222,831 mi) of national and provincial roads, of which 59,753 km (37,431 mi) were paved, including 1,927 km (1,197 mi) of expressways. There were 3,795,600 automobiles and 1,736,000 commercial vehicles in 2000.

The South African Transport Service, a government department under the minister of transport affairs, operates the railways, principal harbors, South African Airways, and some road transportation services. In 2002, there were 20,384 route-km (12,667 route-mi) of track.

In 2002, the South African merchant fleet consisted of 8 ships with a total volume of 271,650 GRT. South Africa's seven ports, owned and operated by the government, include the deepwater ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Table Bay (at Cape Town); other ports with good facilities are Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay, East London, and Mosselbaai (or Mossel Bay).

Airports in 2001 totaled 740, of which 143 had paved runways. The government-owned South African Airways operates both international and domestic flights. Jan Smuts Airport, near Johannesburg, is the major international airport; other international airports are located at Cape Town and Durban. In 2001, 7,984,400 passengers were carried on domestic and international flights.

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