Big jump in hijackings in South Africa – these are the hotspot areas and the worrying new trend to look out for

 ·23 Nov 2022

South Africa has seen a massive increase in hijackings, with the number of crimes recorded in the latest quarter up significantly from last year.

Presenting the latest quarterly crime statistics for the second quarter of the year – 1 July to 30 September 2022 – the South African Police Service noted that 6,149 cars were hijacked over the period.

This equates to approximately 68 cars being stolen in the country every day.

While the SAPS note that the statistics are being compared to the same period in 2021 when the country was under high levels of lockdown, the latest stats are up significantly from the 5,866 hijackings that were reported across the country over the last quarter.

Since January 2022, 17,412 cases of hijacking have been recorded in 2022 so far.

As with most of the crime categories tracked by the SAPS, carjackings are most prevalent in South Africa’s most populous regions, such as Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

There has been a massive escalation in hijackings in the Eastern Cape compared to last year, however, with the province recording a 70% jump in cases. Gauteng still has the most hijackings overall, with 17% more cases in the latest quarter, off an already high base.

Looking at more granular station data, though, the Western Cape has the most hijackings per region, with Nyanga in the province having the most cases – and seeing an increase of 77.6% over the last year.

In Gauteng, Pretoria West has the highest number of reported cases, though Olievenhoutbosch has seen a huge increase, with the number of cases quadrupling.


Warnings from vehicle tracking group Tracker and security services Fidelity ADT have put South Africans on alert for new tactics being used by criminals to target vehicles in the country and what they do to get the jump on their victims.

The most recent trend seen in the sector is an evolution of the ‘blocking’ technique used against patrons of fast food drive-thrus – while delivery persons are being increasingly targeted when making their rounds.

However, the SAPS have highlighted a disturbing new trend in hijacking cases, with a growing number of incidents now also involving kidnappings as part of the crime.

According to the SAPS, in the sample of 3,648 kidnapping cases it analysed, hijacking-related incidents accounted for the biggest number of cases where these took place.

The data revealed that victims are twice as likely to be kidnapped in a hijacking than in the second most common situation (robbery).

In terms of vehicles being targeted, the SAPS’ data aligns with messaging coming from security groups as well.

Fidelity previously noted that hijackers most often targeted Toyota and Volkswagen vehicles, with targetted models including:

  • Toyota Hilux
  • Volkswagen Polo
  • Toyota Quantum
  • Nissan NP200

On top of these vehicles, security experts have also pointed to the following:

  • Toyota Fortuner
  • Toyota Etios
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Ford Ranger
  • Ford Figo
  • Nissan Navara

This lines up with data from the SAPS, showing that sedans, hatchbacks and bakkies are the most hijacked vehicle types in the country.

Read: All the hijacking tactics to look out for in South Africa – including the blockage, ‘tap-tap’ and imposter methods

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