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Vehicle population nears 600,000

MBONGENI MGUNI
The influx of Asian imports has ballooned the vehicle population
The population of locally registered vehicles on the country’s roads rose to 584,000 by the end of June 2019, more than double the number from 10 years ago.

At that level, the country has about 254 vehicles per 1,000 people in the country, a statistic that puts Botswana amongst the world’s highest in terms of vehicle density.

Figures from Statistics Botswana released this week show that by the end of last year, the vehicle population was pegged at 553,648 having risen from 527,901 at the end of 2017. 

In the six months to June 30, 2019, an additional 30,583 new vehicle registrations were made countrywide, adding onto the vehicle population. A marginal number of deregistrations were also recorded in the first six months of the year.

The 30,583 registrations made in the first six months of the year represent the highest figure for any comparative period, according to Statistics Botswana numbers, indicating rising purchases by the local market.

The data agency said the rising vehicle population was

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heavily influenced by the influx of Asian second-hand imports over the years.

“The increase (in 2018) was attributed to import cars from Asia and the United Kingdom, which are proving to be more affordable to the low income market,” researchers stated.

Private passenger vehicles have been the major driver of growth in the national vehicle population over the years, with second hand models such as Honda and Volkswagen proving to be particularly popular.

Statistics Botswana researchers said the rise in the vehicle numbers was not without consequence.

“The increase in vehicle stock has brought with it some major challenges, for example, an increase in road accidents and congestion on the roads, especially in cities,” the data agency stated.

Environmentalists have also warned that the influx of second hand vehicles is increasing the country’s pollution and urban smog.



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