South Africa’s worst cities for carjacking

The second edition of the State of Urban Safety in South Africa report provides a city-by-city breakdown of criminal activity in the country, including carjackings which appear to be on the rise.

Produced by members of the Urban Safety Reference Group (USRG) hosted by the South African Cities Network (SACN), with the support of the GIZ-Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) Programme, this report is an update of the state of crime and violence in South Africa’s major cities.

The statistics show that cities are places not only of opportunity but also of inequality and high levels of violence and crime. Cities are where the majority (63%) of South Africans live and where most crime and violence are concentrated.

The nine urban areas covered in the report are home to approximately 40% of the country’s residents, and account for as much as 77% of carjackings.

The report revealed that carjackings are up 12% from 2014/15 to 2015/16.

“Nationally, carjacking rates either remained fairly constant or declined until 2011/12 when they began to increase. In 2015/16 they had reached the same level as in 2005/06. Johannesburg, eThekwini and ekurhuleni experienced a decline in carjacking rates from 2008/09 (2009/10 for ekurhuleni) but are still the top three cities for carjacking,” the report said.

“Cape Town has gone from being below to well above the national rate, with a sharp increase in carjacking rates since 2013/14. Over the 11 years, carjacking rates in buffalo City and Msunduzi have remained fairly steady and below the national rate,” it said.

  • JHB – Johannesburg
  • ETH – eThekwini Municipality
  • CPT  – City of Cape Town
  • EKU  – Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality
  • TSH – City of Tshwane
  • NMB – Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
  • BCM – Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
  • MAN – Mangaung Municipality
  • MSU – Msunduzi Municipality

The South African Police Service released its crime statistics for 2016 towards the end of last year showing that the country’s cases of carjacking had increased over the 12 months covered.

It found that more than ,400 vehicles are hijacked each month.

The report noted that when interpreting crime statistics, several challenges need to be overcome including the fact that not all criminal incidents are reported to or recorded by the police. Much depends on the police and community motivations, which can differ from precinct to precinct.


Read: South Africa’s worst hijacking and smash and grab hotspots

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