Road Signs With Names And Meanings In South Africa

Last Updated on November 12, 2022

Road Signs With Names And Meanings In South Africa: The relevance of road signs is pretty self-explanatory. They restrict motorists from hitting one another, warn of impending hazards, and inform drivers and even pedestrians of the local regulation and laws.

Road signs SA have been adopted from the SADC (Southern African Development Community) –RTSM, a manual aimed at harmonizing traffic signs in the country. Knowledge of your K53 road signs is imperative for all users regardless of whether you are a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian because this improves safety for everyone. Which are the commonly used traffic signs in South Africa?

Categories of South African Road Signs

What are the colors of road signs? Road signs for learners licence are categorized into three types, which include regulatory, warning, and guide signs. These three categories of these symbols can be temporary or permanent, and the difference in colour between the two is that a permanent one has a white background while temporary road signs in South Africa have a yellow background.

Normally, a warning sign will be in a red triangle that points upwards, with a black pictogram that describes the obstruction or danger. On the other hand, speed limit signs in South Africa are red circles with the speed limit in black. Besides this, road safety signs also come in various shapes that assist the users in times of poor visibility like a dense fog.

Road Signs With Names And Meanings In South Africa

Let us now look at the purpose of the difference between these important traffic symbols.

1. Regulatory Signs

Regulatory traffic signs are those that guide users of their legal responsibilities such as speed limits, parking controls, and prohibited movement, among others. For this reason, these pictorial traffic symbols are divided into four categories which are: Control, Command, Prohibition, Comprehensive, and Reservation signs.

The majority of these important traffic symbols have a rectangular shape with a black legend on a white background. Below are some of the commonly used regulatory road signs and meanings and pictures.

  • Control signs

These traffic symbols tell you what to do. They include:

  • Command signs

They include:

  • Prohibition signs

Most of these symbols, if not all, have a line crossing in the middle. For example;

  • Reservation signs

As the name suggests, these signs indicate that space is for specific vehicles.

  • Comprehensive signs

2. Warning Signs

Warning road signs in South Africa are those that pinpoint hazards that may not be recognizable to the approaching driver as they are found on the next path or lane. These traffic road signs are shaped in a diamond and have a black legend or symbol on a yellow background showing caution, although some are triangular in shape. Common warning symbols include:


This means that there are wild animals ahead.


When you come across the image above, know that there is an unprotected jetty edge or river bank ahead.


This sign simply means children ahead.


This is a sign of crossroads ahead.


Some road signs with names are self-explanatory.


This implies crosswinds ahead.


Here, you need to slow down because there is a sharp curve ahead.


This sign alerts you that there is a roundabout ahead. Other common warning images along the way are:

  • Advisory speed signs usually aid the driver to negotiate bends safely
  • Conditions of the way being used, for example slippery when wet.
  • Advance warning of traffic control devices like traffic lights.

3. Guide Signs

A guide road sign is that which notify users of routes, amenities along the way, direction and distance to destination, as well as point of interest.

K53 Hand Signals

A good driver does not stop at road signs pictures. It is mandatory for all users to know k53 hand signals so that they can use them or recognize them when other drivers use them along the way. These hand gestures are used when one is signaling their intention to turn or move right or left.

  • Right Turn Hand Signals – Horizontally stick your arm as far as possible, turn your palm forward while clinging your fingers together.
  • Left Turn Hand Signal – For a left turn, put out your arm horizontally as far as possible with your forearm facing towards the ground while the hand is directing to the sky.
  • Stop Hand Signal – If you want to stop, put your arm out of the window in a horizontal manner. Maintain your fingers together and keep your palm open while facing frontward till you feel its time to stop.

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