Top hijacking trends and hotspots in South Africa right now

Security group Tracker has published its the latest Tracker Vehicle Crime Index, detailing how the country’s lockdown has impacted hijackings and other vehicle crimes in South Africa.

The group’s vehicle crime statistics for the period July to December 2020 showed a 13% decrease in the number of vehicle crime activities reported nationally compared to the same period in 2019.

Recorded from Tracker’s more than 1.1 million installed vehicle base, the statistics indicate that theft decreased by 21%, while hijacking saw a 5% reduction.

Hijacking still attributes a higher percentage of vehicle crime, averaging a 53/47 split versus theft.

“The slant towards hijacking is most likely an opportunistic tactic, with a noticeable increase in vehicles being targeted for their loads, particularly fast-moving consumable goods. Drivers carrying large amounts of cash are also being targeted,” it said.

Tracker data indicates that:

  • Most vehicles are reported hijacked or stolen at the end of the week;
  • Most hijackings are reported on Wednesday through to Friday and between the hours of 16h00 and 20h00;
  • Theft is mainly reported on Wednesday through to Saturday and between the hours of 11h00 and 15h00.


The provinces and towns most affected by vehicle crime remain similar to past indices. Gauteng still experiences the most vehicle crime, with hijacking prevalent in Johannesburg and theft mainly occurring in Pretoria.

This is followed by KwaZulu-Natal with Durban in the top spot for both hijacking and theft, and the Western Cape with hijacking mainly occurring in Mitchells Plain and theft in Cape Town.

Hijacking hotspots:

  • Gauteng – Johannesburg
  • KZN – Durban
  • Western Cape – Mitchell’s Plain
  • Mpumalanga – eMalahleni
  • Eastern Cape – Motherwell
  • North West  – Rustenburg
  • Limpopo – Dennilton
  • Free State – Bloemfontein
  • Northern Cape – Kimberly

Theft hotspots:

  • Gauteng – Pretoria
  • KZN – Durban
  • Western Cape – Cape Town
  • Mpumalanga – eMalahleni
  • Eastern Cape – Port Elizabeth
  • North West – Rustenburg
  • Limpopo – Polokwane
  • Free State – Bloemfontein
  • Northern Cape – Kimberly

Tracker said that its efforts to combat vehicle crime resulted in 2,949 vehicle recoveries, 397 arrests and 13 firearms recovered for the six-month period.

“The decrease in vehicle crime could be attributed to fewer vehicles on the road compared to the previous year, as South Africans continue to restrict their movements to help prevent the spread of Covid-19,” said Ron Knott-Craig, Executive: Operational Services at Tracker South Africa.

“However, it is important that we don’t become complacent. While driving, be vigilant about your surroundings. Be alert and on the lookout for suspicious persons or vehicles.

“Avoid distractions such as talking on your mobile phone. Also, always try to park your vehicle in a properly secured parking area, and make sure the doors are properly locked before leaving it.”

Read: Big changes to car sales and services in South Africa come into effect from July

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Top hijacking trends and hotspots in South Africa right now