Find out where South Africa’s worst hijack hotspots are

The most recent crime data stats from the South African Police Service (SAPS) for 2015 shows that hijackings have increased in the country over the past year.

According to the SAPS, there were 12,773 reported car hijackings between 2014/15, compared to 11,180 in 2013/14 – an increase from 31 to 35 incidents per day.

This equates to one car getting hijacked in South Africa once every 41 minutes.

Once again, Booysens in Johannesburg tops the list as the country’s worst hijacking spot, with Gauteng again having the dishonour as the country’s hijacking capital, with 6,867 (54%) carjackings happening in the province.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Booysens Gauteng 220
2 Chatsworth KwaZulu Natal 188
3 Jeppe Gauteng 178
4 Moffatview Gauteng 164
5 Pinetown KwaZulu Natal 147
6 Alexandra Gauteng 143
7 Tembisa Gauteng 142
8 Nyanga Western Cape 137
9 Rietgat Gauteng 133
10 Roodepoort Gauteng 129

Truck hijacking

In 2015, there were 1,279 reported truck jackings, with most (804 – or 63%) happening in Gauteng.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Heidelberg Gauteng 99
2 Alberton Gauteng 44
3 Olifantsfontein Gauteng 32
4 Kempton Park Gauteng 29
5 Delmas Mpumalanga 28
6 Harrismith Free State 26
7 Grootvlei Mpumalanga 23
8 Witbank Mpumalanga 23
9 Zonkizizwe Gauteng 23
10 Bronkhorstspruit Gauteng 21

More prolific is the presence of car theft, which refers to cars (or motorcycles) stolen when unoccupied. In 2015, the SAPS reported 55,090 cases.

Again, Gauteng tops the list for worst-affected, accounting for 27,147 – almost half (49.3%) of the total.

Car or motor vehicle theft

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Honeydew Gauteng 764
2 Roodepoort Gauteng 718
3 Berea KwaZulu Natal 672
4 Booysens Gauteng 608
5 Brooklyn Gauteng 597
6 Durban Central KwaZulu Natal 570
7 Alberton Gauteng 553
8 Johannesburg Central Gauteng 547
9 Benoni Gauteng 540
10 Kempton Park Gauteng 537

It’s worth noting that the SAPS data for 2015’s stats covers April 2014 to March 2015 – and because of this, it is at least 6 months out of date by the time of public release.

The stats should also be taken in context of population sizes – ie, as the most populous province, Gauteng is more likely to have the most incidences of crime.

How to avoid being hijacked

Because of the prevalence of hijacking in the country, Budget Insurance has listed a few practical tips to avoid becoming a crime statistic.

  • Plan your route. Use a GPS to avoid getting lost and becoming an easy target. Inform the people / person at your destination about your estimated time of arrival.
  • Stay alert. Always be aware of your surroundings and look out for anything suspicious.
  • Be confident and focused. Limit distractions, such as checking or talking on your cellphone, when walking to or from your car.
  • Lock up. Avoid driving with windows open, keep the doors locked and lock valuables out of sight. Install smash-and-grab window protection if possible.
  • Mix things up. Vary the routes you take to make it less predictable for criminals.
  • Check the tail. If you suspect you are being followed, make a couple of false turns. If someone is still following you, drive to the nearest police station.
  • Allow space. Leave enough room between you and the car in front of you to avoid being boxed in.
  • Savvy stopping. Slowdown in such a way that the light is green by the time you reach a traffic light, especially late at night – this avoids you coming to a complete stop and reduces your risk of becoming a target.
  • Pick your parking spot. Always park in a safe, well-lit area.
  • Use panic buttons. If you sense you are in danger, use the panic button on your tracking device if it has one.
  • Go electric. Many hijackings happen just as you are entering or leaving your home. Having a well-lit, shrub-free driveway and an electric gate (that can switch to a battery during power failures) can help you get in and out safely. Use the remote to close the gate behind you, rather than waiting for the self-timer. This limits a criminal’s window of opportunity.
  • Know your neighbour. Knowing your neighbours and the cars they drive well help you to better identify suspicious individuals and vehicles.
  • Keep an SOS phone. Keep a spare, small and cheap phone loaded with airtime and emergency contacts (including your insurer) handy so that you can call for help even if your car and valuables are stolen.
  • Keep your car in tiptop shape. A broken down car makes you a target for would-be hijackers who will settle for a raid of your valuables.

More on crime

SA crime stats are only the tip of the iceberg: ISS

How many crimes in South Africa led to arrests

2015 crime stats for South Africa: everything you need to know


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