In South Africa some roads are designated as numbered routes to help with navigation. There is a nationwide numbering scheme consisting of national, provincial and regional routes, and within various urban areas there are schemes of metropolitan route numbering.
In the nationwide numbering scheme, routes are divided into a hierarchy of three categories: national routes, which are the most important routes connecting major cities; provincial routes, which connecting smaller cities and towns to the national route network; and regional routes, which connect smaller towns to the route network. Route numbers are allocated to these classes as follows:
- National routes - N1 to N21
- Provincial routes - R21 to R99
- Regional parallel routes - R101 to R120 (A Regional parallel route will consist of road segments formerly part of the national route R1xy. Nxy that have been replaced by upgraded roads)
- Regional routes in the former Cape Province: R300 to R499.
- Regional routes in the former Transvaal Province: R500 to R599
- Regional routes in KwaZulu-Natal: R600 to R699
- Regional routes in the Free State: R700 to R799
These numbers are allocated by the Route Numbering and Road Traffic Signs Sub Committee within the Roads Co-ordinating Body, an organisation which contains representatives from road authorities in national, provincial and local government.
In metropolitan numbering schemes the local authority can designate routes consisting of M followed by any number, but it should not use numbers the same as those used by national, provincial or regional routes in the same area. This rule is not universally followed, for example in Johannesburg where there is both an N1 and an M1 and in Bloemfontein where there is both an R30 and an M30.
The Pietermaritzburg-Hilton area and Krugersdorp are the only urban areas that does not form of a metropolitan municipality but still have metropolitan routes. The following metropolitan municipalities and their cities have metropolitan numbering schemes.
- Buffalo City (East London)
- City of Cape Town (Cape Town)
- City of Johannesburg & Ekurhuleni (Johannesburg) including Krugersdorp which is in the West Rand
- City of Tshwane (Pretoria)
- Ethekwini (Durban)
- Mangaung (Bloemfontein)
- Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth)
- Pietermaritzburg-Hilton area (Pietermaritzburg)
There are also a number of Ring Roads in South Africa found nationwide
Lists of routesEdit
- List of national routes in South Africa
- List of provincial routes in South Africa
- List of regional routes in South Africa
- List of Metropolitan Routes in South Africa
- Falkner, John (May 2012). South African Numbered Route Description and Destination Analysis (PDF). National Department of Transport. p. xi. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- "RDDA SOUTH AFRICAN NUMBERED ROUTE DESCRIPTION AND DESTINATION ANALYSIS". NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT. May 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- SADC Road Traffic Signs Manual, Volume 1: Uniform Traffic Control Devices (PDF). National Department of Transport. May 2012. p. 8.6.1. Retrieved 22 February 2019.