Where are people generally moving to in South Africa and where are they moving from? Using voter registration data it has been possible to identify flows of people between places of origin and destination and identify which places are losing population and which places are gaining population due to migration. Dominant population flows have also been identified and mapped to pinpoint popular places of origin and destination in South Africa.


Net migration flows from 2000 to 2011 (IEC)

Insights & Findings

It has been widely assumed that the majority migration occurs from rural areas to the large cities. But it has been recently found that a far greater movement is occurring between and within urban areas. The largest volumes of migration flows are between our largest cities and city regions such as Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Cape Town. Our cities have also seen the greatest net gain of population due to migration. Read more >> Other cities and towns in rapidly expanding mining regions have also experienced significant in-migration, such as Rustenburg, Lephalale and Thabazimbi. Read more >>


Voter registration data, provided by the Independent Electoral Commission, have been spatialised and processed to extract movement trends between different election periods. To read more on how this was done, follow this link by Johan Maritz and Dr Pieter Kok.


Core Team:

Johan Maritz, Dr Pieter Kok (Independent contractor) and Amy Pieterse

Acknowledgement to contributors:

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC): Supplied voter registration data for various election periods)

  • Dr Johan Olivier (Independent contractor)
  • SACN: State of Cities Report, 2015-2016 (Geci Karuri)

For more information contact:

Johan Maritz,

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