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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - South African Journal of Economics
Title Tax(i)ing the poor? Commuting costs in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 1-20
In this paper, I describe the monetary and time costs of commuting to work in South African cities, and how these have changed in the post-Apartheid era. I interpret these results in light of a paper by Brueckner, who used a simple urban model to suggest that location and commuting patterns by race could change as a result of the repeal of Apartheid era legislation such as the Group Areas Act that made it impossible for black South Africans to live near the centre of cities. A key finding is that monetary and time costs of commuting in South African cities are high and have increased in the post-Apartheid period. Journey times are much higher than the OECD country average and a sample of developing country cities. Part of the explanation for increasing average commute times is population growth in South African cities, which has been substantial. Both the population and number of commuters doubled between 1993 and 2013 in the six metropolitan municipalities (metros) analysed in this paper. Since commuting costs a substantial amount and generates negative externalities through congestion I also explore the financing of public transport.

Related studies

Kerr, Andrew. "Tax(i)ing the poor? Commuting costs in South Africa." South African Journal of Economics (2017).
Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town