Johannesburg, also known as Jozi, Jo’burg or eGoli, has grown into a thriving metropolis over the decades; it is the financial capital of South Africa, has the largest metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa and is the largest city in the world not located on a lake, river or coastline.
It comes as no surprise then that transport is a key factor when planning any trip to Johannesburg. We’ll take a quick look at each type of public transport available and finally at Johannesburg car hire.
Johannesburg public transport services are functional and generally cheap, but they don’t offer much in the way of flexibility and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Minibus taxis function as a small-scale bus service but without designated stops or a timetable. Taxis go almost everywhere in Johannesburg, servicing the majority of the working population, they are frequent and very cost effective. Using a minibus taxi requires an understanding of the undocumented minibus etiquette; if you don’t understand the lingo, hand signals and routes you might end up very far away from your intended destination. It does provide an interesting African experience, and offers perhaps the best opportunity to mix with ordinary everyday people.
On a cautionary note, minibus taxis often operate outside vehicle safety standards, worn brakes, bald tyres, unlicensed drivers and overcrowding are not uncommon. Couple this with chaotic driving in order to maximize the number of paying passengers transported. It can be a wild ride.
Connecting the satellite towns on the Witwatersrand this transport system carries large numbers of workers each day. The Pretoria, Soweto and Johannesburg connections are particularly busy. The problem with this system is that it only covers ‘old’ or southern Johannesburg. More recently Johannesburg has expanded northwards and areas like Sandton, Midrand, Rosebank and Randburg lack any rail network penetration.
This is constantly improving with additional routes and special needs buses, though reports of reliability suggest leaving ample time to reach your destination.
These are hailed via appointment or telephone rather than as a roadside flag down service. Very useful for getting around, though they come at a price.
Johannesburg Car Hire
Taking all the public transport services into account, the best way to navigate Johannesburg is often via Johannesburg car hire. This allows you to dictate your own schedule, take your desired route and give in to spontaneous ideas, which is an ever-important part of being on holiday.
This article was written for Drive South Africa talking about Johannesburg Car Hire.