M2 (Johannesburg)

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Metropolitan route M2 shield

Metropolitan route M2
Francois Oberholzer Freeway
Route information
Maintained by Johannesburg Roads Agency and Department of Roads and Transport (Gauteng)
Length22.9 mi (14.3 km)
Major junctions
East end M93 Refinery Road near Germiston
  N12 Geldenhuis Interchange
N3 Geldenhuis Interchange
M30 Cleveland Road
Chilvers Street, Denver
M19 Ruven Road, Benrose
Maritzburg Street, Kaserne
M31 Joe Slovo Drive
M31 Heidelberg Road
R55 / M17 / M11 Mooi Street
M9 Rissik Street, Selby
M1 North - Sandton/Pretoria
M1 South - Crown Interchange
West end R41 Main Reef Road in Selby Extension, Johannesburg
Highway system
Numbered routes of South Africa

The M2 is a major highway in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is named the Francois Oberholzer Freeway. It runs just to the south of the Central Business District eastwards where it connects with the N3 (only a short segment goes to the west of the CBD). The north-south M1 intersects with the M2 just to the west of the CBD.


The M2 in the afternoon as it passes through the Central Business District

Both the M2 and M1 motorways have their beginnings in a 1948 traffic planning scheme developed by the Johannesburg City Council and examined by American traffic engineering consultant Lloyd B. Reid in 1954.[1]:577 Two 10-year plans examined among other things the idea of new urban motorways and improving existing highways. The plan called for two motorways, one running east–west along the southern CBD and the other running north–south on the western side of the CBD.[1]:577 The plan was linked to the national and provincial governments plan by the National Transport Commission for the Western and Eastern Bypasses, the future N1 and N3/N12.[1]:577 The East-West Motorway (M2) would have its beginning at the Eastern Bypass now known as the Geldenhuis Interchange, though it presently begins further eastwards in Germiston at Refinery Road.[1]:577

The motorway would then continue westwards over old mining properties and original gold-bearing reefs ending at Main Reef Road near Church Street.[1]:577 The plan was for it to eventually reach the proposed Western Bypass, but it never did.[1]:577 Apart from several diamond interchanges connecting to existing main roads in and out of the city, there would be two large interchanges that would be built on mine dumps.[1]:578 The first would be constructed near New Kazerine and would connect Heidelberg Road to the south and Harrow Road (now Joe Slovo Drive) northwards while the second large interchange, further on, would connect the North-South Motorway (M1) and the later Crown Interchange.[1]:578 Provisions would be made for the vertical and horizontal movement of land due subsidence of undermined land especially where old mine stopes had not been properly filled.[1]:578

A two-three-lane motorway was planned with large medians for breakdowns, elevated where required, and the speed limit set at between 80 and 100 km/h (50 and 60 mph).[1]:577–8 The motorway is named after City of Johannesburg councilor J. F. Oberholzer, who was the head of the council's Works and Traffic committee.[1]:405


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Shorten, John R. (1970). The Johannesburg Saga. Johannesburg: John R. Shorten Pty Ltd. p. 1159.