The worst areas for hijacking in South Africa – and the types of cars criminals are after

 ·27 Feb 2024

South Africa has seen an increase in hijackings year-on-year, with some provinces experiencing a bigger jump in hijackings than others.

Presenting the latest quarterly crime statistics for the third quarter of the year – October to December 2023 – the South African Police Service (SAPS) noted that 5,973 cars were hijacked over the three-month period.

This equates to approximately 66 cars being stolen daily, a 6.5% rise from the same period in 2022.

According to the SAPS, three provinces experienced a notable year-on-year increase (>10%) in hijackings – these being the Gauteng (14.4%), the Western Cape (14%) and North West (11%).

Interestingly, Kwa-Zulu Natal saw a 17.6% decrease in carjackings, followed by the Eastern Cape (-5.2%).

Carjackings are most prevalent in South Africa’s most populous regions, such as Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, and the Western Cape.

Gauteng saw 3,010 hijackings, representing 50.4% of all carjackings in Q3 2023/24. the Western Cape experienced 856 carjackings, and Kwa-Zulu Natal saw 834.

Looking at more granular station data, Gauteng has the most hijackings per region, with Ivory Park in Ekurhuleni having the most cases. Jabulani in Johannesburg had the highest increase in reported cases, rocketing by 300% compared to last year.

The top hijacking hotspots for the three most populated provinces are listed below.


  1. Ivory Park
  2. Moroka
  3. Loate
  4. Orange Farms
  5. Eldorado Park

Kwa-Zulu Natal:

  1. Umlazi
  2. Mariannhill

Western Cape:

  1. Philippi East
  2. Harare
  3. Nyanga
  4. Mfuleni
  5. Delft

Targeted vehicles

According to a Santam report, there has been a noticeable trend in the market where there is a shift away from older and low-value vehicles which require limited security to more expensive double cabs and SUVs.

This observation is consistent with the experiences of private security companies such as Fidelity ADT.

According to Fidelity, hijackers target specific vehicles for a specific purpose and market. The demand for Toyotas, VWs, Fords, and Nissans remains high on the black market.

According to Fidelity’s latest data, the seven most high-risk models, in no specific order, are:

  • Toyota Fortuner (GD6 and D4D);
  • Toyota Hilux (GD6 and D4D);
  • Toyota Corolla Cross;
  • Toyota RAV 4;
  • VW Polo (especially hatchbacks);
  • Nissan NP200; and
  • Ford Ranger (both double and single cabs).

The issue of keyless vehicle entry has been so persistent in Toyota models that the automaker developed numerous safety upgrades for these models, which it began providing to customers free of charge in December 2022.

Fidelity ADT’s observations revealed a trend in car thefts targeting popular hatchbacks and bakkies.

This trend is also supported by the SAPS’ latest data, which showed that sedans, hatchbacks, and coupes make up 2,754 of the vehicles hijacked, followed by bakkies and panel vans with 1,824 hijackings.

These vehicle segments represented 46.1% and 30.5% of all the hijacked cars over the quarter.

Read: Insurers now insist on two tracking devices as hijacking claims skyrocket in South Africa

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