We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Bakkie?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Bakkie is a term used in South Africa to describe any pickup or utility vehicle with an open load area. The name has its origins in the Afrikaans word “bakkie” which means a small bowl or tub. Open pickups have always been extremely popular in South Africa and are an integral part of local culture. Tastes in bakkies have, however, matured somewhat, and the average variant on South African roads at present is a far cry from the battered, tired old farm utility of old. Current bakkie trends include the latest in single and double cab designs most of which feature performance, luxury, and safety features in line with top of the range saloons.

As was the case in most pioneering countries, any vehicle capable of hauling a load from A to B was very important to early South Africans. And, as is the case with most grown up pioneering countries, the habit stuck long after the concrete and asphalt jungle replaced the wide open plains. The evergreen popularity of the American pickup, the Australian ute, and the South African bakkie are all proof that a vehicle that can haul anything from pot plants to building rubble and quad bikes will never loose its attraction.

Pronounced “bukky,” the Afrikaans term is loosely applied to any small container, bowl, or tub and was probably first given to utility vehicles as a reference to the square, box-like wooden load areas on early Ford pickups. With so much of the South African infrastructure centered around agriculture at the time, the vehicle quickly found favor among those who could afford it as an effective replacement for the traditional horse and ox drawn wagon and Scotch cart. Even when farming began to take a backseat to industry and commerce, the humble bakkie followed the exodus of people to the cities and towns. South Africans have always been great handymen, gardeners, and outdoor enthusiasts, and the value of the bakkie as a haul-all workhorse never waned. As a matter of fact, increasing prosperity and vehicle availability saw the presence of bakkies in family garages soar.

Today the bakkie is probably more popular than ever only with a slightly different purpose. Although it still hauls all and sundry, the vehicle is perhaps now more of a status symbol than anything else with the average 4x4 pick up sporting more luxury features than many top end saloons. At the end of the day, whatever the motivation for adding a bakkie to the stable, it will always remain as much a part of South African life as the sunshine, wide open spaces, and friendly people.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.