South Africa’s crime statistics for Q4 2021/2022 show another steep increase in hijackings across the country.
The data, presented by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to parliament on Friday (3 June), covers the period between January and March 2022.
A total of 5,402 hijackings were reported across the country over the period – a 19.7% (889) increase from the 4,513 hijackings reported over the same period the previous year.
A vehicle is hijacked every 30 minutes in the country, annual data showed.
As with the country’s other major crime statistics, the majority of the cases were reported in the most populous areas. Most carjacking cases were reported in Gauteng (2,936), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (876) and the Western Cape (581).
The table below highlights the areas that have had the most hijacking cases reported to their respective police stations in the fourth quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year. This period covers crimes that happened from 1 January to the end of March 2022.
Mamelodi East in Gauteng reported the most carjackings (98), followed by Harare in the Western Cape (87), and Phillipi East, also in the Western Cape (64).
The jump in hijackings was flagged by security company Fidelity SecureDrive at the end of May, with the group noting the specific vehicles that are targeted.
Wahl Bartmann, chief executive of Fidelity Services group, said that between April 2021 to May 2022 the provinces of Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal recorded the most incidents – in Durban, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.
Incidents typically take place between 06h00-09h00 and 18h00-24h00 during peak traffic times and when there is reduced visibility at night, while most of the hijackings took place on Thursdays and Friday.
Fidelity’s data shows hijackers most often targeted Toyota and Volkswagen vehicles, with targeted models including:
- Toyota Hilux
- Volkswagen Polo
- Toyota Quantum
- Nissan NP200
The data shows white vehicles are disproportionately targeted (48.9%). This was also the case for silver-grey vehicles (18.9%). Fidelity also noted that white or silver-grey vehicles are the most hijacked in the country.