Far fewer SA women than men have valid driving licences, says Statistics SA

December 27, 2021

Cape Town - Women are far less likely to have a driver’s licence, according to Statistics South Africa.

A recent report tracked the gender disparities between men and women in the use of transport and it has shown that only 21.8% of women in South Africa possess a driver’s licence, compared to 40,1% of males.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said that women have always been placed second when it comes to transportation.

“Throughout history, transportation has been known to prioritise the needs of men over those of women.

“This could be attributed to cultural practices that insisted on domesticating women while overlooking the fact that even domestic duties necessitate viable transportation systems,” said Maluleke.

The report shows that women have not obtained gender equality in the possession of driving licences.

Black females lagged behind all other population groups as the lowest percentage to have their licence (13.4%) when compared to females from other population groups.

In addition, the report showed that the use of taxis remains skewed toward black African and coloured women, whereas white and Indian/ Asian women were more likely to be car passengers or car drivers.

Nicci Scott, Commercial Transport Academy chief executive, which has been advocating for more black women to be involved in the commercial driving industry, said the statistics weren’t surprising.

“Women are less likely to get their licence as they don’t see the point if they don’t have access to a car.

“The reason for this is often linked to the type of work women secure, whereby they don’t earn enough to own a car. This results in not having a reason to obtain a driver’s licence,” Scott said.

“Among my learners, I encountered many women who don’t have the courage to take their licence. Often it is a generational issue, with older women in the family not obtaining a licence,” Scott said.

She indicated that data from the industry had shown that women in the commercial driving industry were far more reliable than men.


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