Get Around in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is geared towards private motorists, and lacks a public transportation system. However, many of Johannesburg's residents are comparatively poor. A significant number are unable to afford their own cars and are dependent on the city's informal minibus taxis.


  1. Buy a map (or print one from the internet). Learn where the railway stations are, and what are the best ways to get from place to place. This will help you make transportation decisions.
  2. Walk or bike. If your destination is reasonably close by, it might be easier to just walk or bike. This costs absolutely nothing, and will give you some exercise as well.
  3. Use mass transit. Johannesburg's metro railway system connects central Johannesburg to Soweto, Pretoria, and most of the satellite towns along the Witwatersrand. It covers only the older areas in the city's south. None of the northern areas, including the key business districts of Sandton, Midrand, Randburg and Rosebank have any rail infrastructure.
  4. Take a bus. The public is served by a bus fleet operated by Metrobus, a corporate unit of the City of Johannesburg.
    • There are many private bus operators, though most focus on the inter-city routes, or on bus charters for touring groups.
  5. Take a taxi. There are two kinds of taxis; metered taxis and minibus taxis.
    • Metered taxis are not allowed to drive around the city looking for passengers and must be called and ordered to a destination. In comparison to many other cities metered taxis are rare.
    • Minibus taxis are the usual and necessary form of transport for the majority of the population. These taxis are often of a poor standard in terms of driver quality with a majority of taxi drivers breaking traffic laws. Minibus taxis remain the usual form of transport.
  6. Freeways: One of Africa's most famous "beltways" is the Johannesburg Ring Road. The road is comprised of three freeways that converge on the city, forming a loop around it:
    • N3 Eastern Bypass links Johannesburg with Durban.
    • N1 Western Bypass links Johannesburg with Pretoria and Cape Town.
    • N12 Southern Bypass links Johannesburg with Witbank and Kimberley.


  • Rent a GPS/Satnav from the car rental agency.
  • Plan your route in advance.

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