10 hijacking hotspots in South Africa you should avoid

 ·23 Jan 2024

South Africa has several hijacking hotspots, but just simply avoiding these areas may not be enough.

The latest crime stats released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) show that 6,009 cars were hijacked between July and September 2023.

Although this was a decline of 2.3% compared to the same period in 2022, it still means that roughly 66 cars were stolen every day, highlighting the danger of being a motorist in South Africa.

In its quarterly reports on crime stats, SAPS also attaches a list of the top 30 stations for carjacking reports in South Africa.

However, one quarter is a small data set and can often have several outliers that deviate from the ‘normal hijacking’ trend.

Thus, BusinessTech analysed data from Q3 (October to December 2022) and Q4 (January to March 2023) in the 2022/23 SAPS financial year, and Q1 (April to June 2023) and Q2 (July to September 2023) in 2023/24. Four quarter’s worth of data gives a clearer indication of the most dangerous areas in the country.

The statistics clearly show that Nyanga and Harare in Cape Town are easily the worst areas for hijacking in South Africa. The areas reported 389 and 385 hijackings over the four quarters, respectively.

This is over 100 hijackings more than Olivenhoutbosch in Tshwane, which is in third place.

Using the data, the ten areas that hijackers tend to operate in are found in the nation’s three richest provinces – Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The top 10 areas for hijackings can be found below:

StationOct to Dec 2022Jan to Mar 2023Apr to Jun 2023Jul to Sep 2023Total
Nyanga, Cape Town1101168182389
Harare, Cape Town10566100114385
Olivenhoutbosch, Tshwane 71469074281
Phillipi East, Cape Town61477876262
Ivory Park, Ekurhuleni66545355228
Midrand, Johannesburg 54595956228
Umlazi, eThekwini55595558227
Tembisa, Tshwane 56435654209
Pretoria West, Tshwane63405345201
Khayelitsha, Cape Town 47363948170
Source: South African Police Service

Danger at every corner

For the list, we only took areas that appeared in the top 30 in all four quarters. Notably, some areas would appear for one quarter and then not again.

This was the case for Kwazekele in the Eastern Cape, which reported the third most hijackings of any area in Q4 2022. Several other areas would only appear in the top 30 once over each quarter, showing an almost “seasonal” trend in hijackings.

Although there are clear hijacking hotspots, motorists should remain cautious, as hijacking can happen at any location.

Eugene Herbert, the CEO of MasterDrive, previously warned that drivers shouldn’t let their guard down, even if data shows that hijackings are declining.

“While (hotspot) information is certainly important to educate drivers on areas where they should be on high alert, also be cautious that information like this does not lull you into a false sense of security,” said Herbert.

“Just because you drive through Constantia and not Nyanga in the Western Cape, does not mean you can let your guard down. Be selective of the message you take from content and do not increase your own risk.”

Hijacking is not a new issue and is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. “As such, drivers can never ignore the continual risk it presents,” he said.

Read: How much you need to earn to afford the cheapest Audi, BMW, and Merc in South Africa

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