N1 (South Africa)
Get N1 South Africa essential facts below. View Videos or join the N1 South Africa discussion. Add N1 South Africa to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
N1 South Africa

National route N1 shield

National route N1
The N1 is indicated in red.
Route information
Maintained by SANRAL, City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, Western Cape Provincial Government[1]
Length1,929 km (1,199 mi)
Major junctions
South endBuitengracht Street in Cape Town
  in Cape Town
in Cape Town
near Beaufort West
at Three Sisters
at Hanover
at Colesberg
near Bloemfontein
near Bloemfontein
at Winburg
near Soweto
near Sandton
in Centurion
near Pretoria
near Mokopane
North endA4 at the Zimbabwean border at Beit Bridge
Major citiesCape Town, Paarl, Worcester, Laingsburg, Beaufort West, Colesberg, Bloemfontein, Kroonstad, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Mokopane, Polokwane, Musina
Highway system
Numbered routes of South Africa

The N1 is a national route in South Africa that runs from Cape Town through Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Polokwane to Beit Bridge on the border with Zimbabwe.[1] It forms the first section of the famed Cape to Cairo Road.

Prior to 1970, the N1 designation was applied to the route from Beit Bridge to Colesberg and then along the current N9 to George. The section from Cape Town to Colesberg was designated the N9.[]


Western Cape

N1 freeway as it enters Cape Town
N1 near De Doorns atop Hex River Pass

The N1 begins in central Cape Town at the northern end of Buitengracht Street outside the entrance to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The first section of the N1 is shared with the beginning of the N2; it is a four-lane elevated freeway that runs along a strip of land between the city centre and the Port of Cape Town. On the eastern edge of the city centre the two roads split, and the N1 turns east as Table Bay Boulevard, passing the Ysterplaat Air Force Base and Century City before the N7 intersects it on its own way out of the city towards Namibia. Major improvements have been made to the Koeberg Interchange, where the N1 meets the M5, one of the main arterial routes linking Milnerton with the Southern Suburbs.

The N1 then heads through the suburbs of Goodwood and Bellville, where the R300 terminates at it, before heading towards Paarl. At Paarl, the freeway ends, and the N1 is tolled as it passes through the Huguenot Tunnel running underneath the Du Toitskloof Mountains; the tunnel was opened in the late 1980s to replace the old Du Toitskloof Pass running over the mountain. After emerging from the tunnel, the N1 winds through the Molenaar River Valley (which is a short dual carriageway section) before emerging from the valley and heading towards Worcester. From Worcester, the route heads through the Hex River Valley and then enters the Karoo by ascending the Hex River Pass.

Currently only the section of the N1 passing through the Huguenot Tunnel is tolled, although there are plans to toll the N1 from the junction with the R300, roughly to De Doorns. This would allow for upgrading of the N1, most especially the opening and construction of the Northern Bore of the Huguenot Tunnel so that two lanes of traffic could pass in each direction through the tunnel, and the building of grade separated junctions along the N1 through Worcester. Although the town is bypassed, there are a number of traffic lights on the N1 through Worcester.

From the top of the pass, the N1 passes Touws River and Matjiesfontein before passing through Laingsburg, then heads towards Beaufort West. The 200 km section between Laingsburg and Beaufort West is notorious for claiming many lives in fatigue-related accidents; also, the N1 begins to turn towards the north-east along this stretch of road. Just before Beaufort West, the N12 from George meets the N1; the N12 and the N1 routes are consigned through Beaufort West and for the next 80 km before splitting at Three Sisters. The N12 later meets the N1 again in Johannesburg, making the N12 an alternative route to the N1, passing through Kimberley instead of Bloemfontein. Although parts of the N12 between Warrenton and Klerksdorp are in poor condition (although in process of being upgraded), the N1 from Bloemfontein onwards is tolled while the N12 is toll-free. Whereas the N12 also passes through most of the towns en route to Johannesburg, the N1 bypasses every town between Beaufort West and Johannesburg.

The N1 briefly crosses into the Northern Cape at Three Sisters for a few kilometres before crossing back into the Western Cape, and remains in the Western Cape until just after its intersection with the R63, where it re-enters the Northern Cape.

Northern Cape

The N1 has a short section in the Northern Cape; after it passes into this province, it passes through the town of Richmond before intersecting with the N10 at Hanover. The N1 then continues towards Colesberg, where the N9 terminates where it meets the N1. After Colesberg, the N1 crosses the Orange River and enters the Free State.

Free State

The N1 southbound as it enters Ventersburg

After the Orange River crossing, the N1 makes a direct line for Bloemfontein, heading in a more northerly direction. The N1 from Colesberg to Bloemfontein is highly significant because it was the first single-carriageway freeway built in South Africa. The bridges with the interchanges at Edenburg and Trompsburg show the ambitious plans for this road as a dual-carriage freeway. Just before reaching Bloemfontein, the N6 from East London terminates where it meets the N1. This intersection marks the beginning of the Bloemfontein Western Bypass, which is the first freeway section on the route since Paarl. The N8 WEST from Kimberley intersects with the N1 bypass, joining it for 3 km, before heading EAST through the central parts of Bloemfontein and then to Maseru in Lesotho,

The N1 is signed as a toll road from the N6 interchange until its end at Beit Bridge. The N1 becomes a single carriageway freeway a few kilometres north of Bloemfontein after passing the R30 to Brandfort; however, construction work is in progress to extend the freeway for another 20 km by building a second carriageway. Once the freeway ends, the road will be a single carriageway but with two lanes in each direction until 5 km before the toll plaza at Verkeerdevlei, halfway between Bloemfontein and Winburg. Initial plans were for the N1 from Winburg to Bloemfontein to be a dual-carriageway freeway. At Winburg, the N5 splits from the N1, which bypasses the north of Lesotho before its own termination at the N3 in Harrismith.

Many motorists from Cape Town heading for Durban travel the N1 to Winburg, and then N5 to Harrismith as an alternative to reach Durban. This is due to the much better quality of this route compared with the N2, especially between Port Shepstone and Grahamstown.

The N1 continues north and passes through Ventersburg before reaching Kroonstad. There the R34 joins the N1 from Welkom for a few kilometres before making its own way towards Heilbron. There is a short dual carriageway freeway bypass of Kroonstad, before the N1 heads towards the Vaal River and Gauteng. Just before passing into Gauteng at the Vaal River, the N1 becomes a dual-carriageway freeway and features another toll plaza (the Vaal Toll Plaza) just south of its major interchange with the R59 Road, which provides access to the Vaal Triangle (Vereeniging and Sasolburg) in the east and Parys in the west.


The N1 between Johannesburg and Pretoria as part of the Ben Schoeman Highway.

After crossing the Vaal River, the N1 continues towards Johannesburg, bypassing Vanderbijlpark and featuring another toll plaza at Grasmere. At the southern outskirts of Johannesburg, the N12 once again meets the N1, and they are consigned northwards for a few kilometers (bypassing Soweto) before splitting off to become the Southern Bypass portion of the Johannesburg Ring Road. From just north of the Vaal River the N1 changes from being a tarred road to a concrete road, until just after the N12. The N1 then becomes the Western Bypass portion of the same ring road, passing through Johannesburg's western suburbs (bypassing Roodepoort and passing through Randburg) before meeting the N3 (the Eastern Bypass portion of the Johannesburg Ring Road, which connects to Durban) and Johannesburg's own M1 freeway at the Buccleuch Interchange.

The N1 then heads towards Pretoria along the Ben Schoeman Highway; this section carries 300,000 vehicles per day and is purported to be the busiest stretch of road in South Africa. At Centurion, the N1 meets the N14 and leaves the Ben Schoeman Highway (which then becomes part of the N14) to become the Pretoria Eastern Bypass (named the Danie Joubert Freeway) towards the north-east, intersecting with the R21 Highway at the Flying Saucer Interchange during this time. After the R21 interchange, the N1 proceeds in a more northerly direction. East of Pretoria CBD, The N4 Platinum Route joins the N1 from Witbank and follows the N1 a short distance before splitting to the west towards Rustenburg. From the interchange with the N4, the N1 is tolled for the remainder of its length, with various toll plazas located along it. The N1 then heads to the north and passes into Limpopo province.


The N1 then passes near Bela Bela (previously Warmbaths) and Modimolle (previously Nylstroom). At the Modimolle exit, the freeway ends; the section of freeway between the Vaal River and Modimolle is the longest freeway in South Africa by route number at approximately 265 km (although there are two changes in the alignment of freeway in Gauteng, at Buccleuch and Brakfontein Interchanges. South Africa's longest continuous freeway is the N3 between Durban and Ladysmith, which is approximately 20 km shorter. The N1 then heads past Mokopane (previously Potgietersrus), where the N11 intersects it at the Nyl Toll Plaza (south off-ramp only) (leaving the N18 and the N17 as the only national roads that do not intersect with the N1), before heading to Polokwane (previously Pietersburg). The Eastern Bypass around Polokwane has recently been opened, although it is not grade separated yet.

After Polokwane, the N1 heads north, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn before passing Louis Trichardt. The N1 then winds through the Soutpansberg Mountains (containing two short tunnels) before heading to Musina. Plans are underway for a bypass around Musina. The route then makes a 16 km line for the Beit Bridge border crossing with Zimbabwe on the Limpopo River.

After crossing into Zimbabwe, the route is no longer known as the N1. It passes through the border town of Beit Bridge on the Zimbabwean side before splitting into two routes: the A6 to Bulawayo and the A4 to Harare.

List of Coordinates
What Where Coordinates
Southwest end in Cape Town 33°54?52?S 18°25?26?E / 33.91444°S 18.42389°E / -33.91444; 18.42389 (N1 southwest end (Cape Town))
junction in Cape Town 33°55?12?S 18°26?07?E / 33.92000°S 18.43528°E / -33.92000; 18.43528 (N1-N2 junction (Cape Town))
junction in Cape Town 33°53?07?S 18°31?53?E / 33.88528°S 18.53139°E / -33.88528; 18.53139 (N1-N7 junction (Cape Town))
junction near Beaufort West 32°22?36?S 22°31?37?E / 32.37667°S 22.52694°E / -32.37667; 22.52694 (N1-N12 junction (Beaufort West))
junction at Three Sisters 31°53?04?S 23°04?58?E / 31.88444°S 23.08278°E / -31.88444; 23.08278 (N1-N12 junction (Three Sisters))
junction at Hanover 31°04?32?S 24°25?56?E / 31.07556°S 24.43222°E / -31.07556; 24.43222 (N1-N10 junction (Hanover))
junction at Colesberg 30°44?00?S 25°05?07?E / 30.73333°S 25.08528°E / -30.73333; 25.08528 (N1-N9 junction (Colesberg))
junction near Bloemfontein 29°12?04?S 26°11?28?E / 29.20111°S 26.19111°E / -29.20111; 26.19111 (N1-N6 junction (Bloemfontein))
junction near Bloemfontein 29°07?37?S 26°09?49?E / 29.12694°S 26.16361°E / -29.12694; 26.16361 (N1-N8 junction (Bloemfontein))
junction at Winburg 28°29?57?S 26°59?50?E / 28.49917°S 26.99722°E / -28.49917; 26.99722 (N1-N5 junction (Winburg))
junction near Soweto 26°15?37?S 27°57?51?E / 26.26028°S 27.96417°E / -26.26028; 27.96417 (N1-N12 junction (Soweto))
junction near Sandton 26°02?48?S 28°05?46?E / 26.04667°S 28.09611°E / -26.04667; 28.09611 (N1-N3 junction (Buccleuch Interchange))
junction in Centurion 25°52?41?S 28°10?08?E / 25.87806°S 28.16889°E / -25.87806; 28.16889 (N1-N14 junction (Brakfontein Interchange))
junction near Pretoria 25°44?25?S 28°15?53?E / 25.74028°S 28.26472°E / -25.74028; 28.26472 (N1-N4 junction (Proefplaas Interchange))
junction near Mokopane 24°17?13?S 28°58?53?E / 24.28694°S 28.98139°E / -24.28694; 28.98139 (N1-N11 junction (Mokopane))
Northeast end at Beit Bridge 22°13?28?S 29°59?12?E / 22.22444°S 29.98667°E / -22.22444; 29.98667 (N1 northeast end (Beit Bridge))

Trans-African Highway Network

As the entire N1 National Route from Cape Town to Beit Bridge is registered as the 1st section of the Cape to Cairo Road (proceeding through Harare), there is a section of the route which is part of the Trans-African Highway Network system of the United Nations.

The section from Cape Town to the split with the N12 National Route at Three Sisters in the Northern Cape is declared part of the Trans-African Highway Network no. 4 or Cairo-Cape Town Highway, which is the route designated by the United Nations between Cairo and Cape Town (passing through Gaborone).

Old Route

A section of dual-carriageway freeway on the N1 near Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng Province

In numerous places in South Africa, specifically near major cities, the N1 route has been rebuilt to freeway standards. The original routes usually carry the designation of R101 and are often alternative routes to the newer, sometimes tolled, highways. An example is the R101 over Du Toitskloof Pass where the new N1 highway bypasses the pass altogether by use of the Huguenot Tunnel.

There are exceptions to the usual R101 alternative route designation:

  • The old N1 route from Colesberg to Bloemfontein is designated R717 up until Reddersburg, where it's designated N6 to Bloemfontein
  • The old N1 route through Bloemfontein is designated as the M30.
  • Between Kroonstad and Parys, the old route is designated firstly as the R721 from Kroonstad to Vredefort and then as the R59 through Parys to the interchange with the N1 at the Vaal Toll Plaza, approximately 10 km south of the Vaal River.
  • Between the Vaal River and Johannesburg, several alternative routes exist, the official alternative route being via the Golden Highway (R553). The old N1 route however followed the designation of the R42 to Vereeniging, and then the R82 leading to Johannesburg's M1 freeway. The M1 as well as Old Pretoria Road and Louis Botha Avenue (together designated as the M11) provide the alternative route through Johannesburg; near the Buccleuch Interchange (the point where the N1, M1 and N3 converge), it becomes the R101, providing the alternative route through to Polokwane via Midrand, Centurion, Pretoria, Bela-Bela, Modimolle & Mokopane.


The list below only includes mainline toll plazas; e-Toll between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and ramp toll plazas have not been included.

Name Location Toll fees (as of 23 March 2012)[2]
Light vehicle Heavy vehicle (2 axles) Heavy vehicle (3/4 axles) Heavy vehicle (5+ axles)
Huguenot Toll Plaza Paarl
33°44?34?S 19°01?11?E / 33.74278°S 19.01972°E / -33.74278; 19.01972 (Huguenot Toll Plaza)
R32.00 R89.00 R139.00 R225.00
Verkeerdevlei Toll Plaza near Verkeerdevlei
28°47?56?S 26°41?26?E / 28.79889°S 26.69056°E / -28.79889; 26.69056 (Verkeerdevlei Toll Plaza)
R39.00 R78.00 R117.00 R164.00
Vaal Toll Plaza near Parys
26°51?23?S 27°38?07?E / 26.85639°S 27.63528°E / -26.85639; 27.63528 (KroonVaal Toll Plaza)
R45.00 R85.00 R103.00 R137.00
Grasmere Toll Plaza Lenasia
26°24?41?S 27°53?03?E / 26.41139°S 27.88417°E / -26.41139; 27.88417 (Grasmere Toll Plaza)
R14.00 R41.00 R48.00 R63.00
Pumulani Toll Plaza N4 exit to Rustenburg
25°38?22?S 28°16?32?E / 25.63944°S 28.27556°E / -25.63944; 28.27556 (Pumulani Toll Plaza)
R8.00 R20.50 R24.00 R29.00
Carousel Toll Plaza between Pretoria and Bela Bela
25°19?22?S 28°17?52?E / 25.32278°S 28.29778°E / -25.32278; 28.29778 (Carousel Toll Plaza)
R38.00 R102.00 R113.00 R130.00
Kranskop Toll Plaza between Bela Bela and Modimolle
24°46?54?S 28°28?17?E / 24.78167°S 28.47139°E / -24.78167; 28.47139 (Kranskop Toll Plaza)
R31.00 R78.00 R104.00 R128.00
Nyl Toll Plaza between Modimolle and Polokwane
24°17?23?S 28°58?44?E / 24.28972°S 28.97889°E / -24.28972; 28.97889 (Nyl Toll Plaza)
R39.00 R74.00 R89.00 R120.00
Capricorn Toll Plaza between Polokwane and Louis Trichardt
23°22?01?S 29°46?30?E / 23.36694°S 29.77500°E / -23.36694; 29.77500 (Capricorn Toll Plaza)
R32.00 R87.00 R102.00 R127.00
Baobab Toll Plaza between Louis Trichardt and Musina
22°38?49?S 29°55?07?E / 22.64694°S 29.91861°E / -22.64694; 29.91861 (Baobab Toll Plaza)
R31.00 R83.00 R115.00 R138.00


  1. ^ Falkner, John (May 2012). South African Numbered Route Description and Destination Analysis (Report). National Department of Transport. pp. 1-6. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "Toll tariffs 2012" (PDF). South African National Roads Agency. Retrieved 12/09/2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes