Where you are most likely to get robbed or have your car stolen in South Africa

A new survey of crime in South Africa, published by Statistics SA, shows where you are most likely to be a victim of vehicle theft in the country.

The Victims of Crime Survey for 2014/2015 looked at private households from all nine provinces in South Africa, and provides information about the dynamics of crime from the perspective of these households and victims of crime.

The report also provides a breakdown of the circumstances surrounding various crimes – including vehicle theft, theft from vehicles, robbery, assault and sexual offences – detailing when the crimes occurred, and who perpetrated them, where applicable.

Combing the survey data with the SAPS crime data released in September allows us to give a profile of when and where these crimes are most likely to occur.

Vehicle theft / theft from vehicles

The SAPS’ crime data for 2015 showed that there were 55,090 cars and motorcycles stolen in 2015, and 145,358 instances where something was stolen out of a motor vehicle.

The regions across the country where the most vehicle theft take place are:

# Region Province Reported Crimes
1 Honeydew GP 764
2 Roodepoort GP 718
3 Berea KZN 672
4 Booysens GP 608
5 Brooklyn GP 597

The regions where the most theft from cars occurred are:

# Region Province Reported Crimes
1 Cape Town Central WC 3 441
2 Sunnyside GP 1 943
3 Stellenbosch WC 1 819
4 Belville WC 1 732
5 Pretoria Central GP 1 617

According the the survey, most victims have their cars stolen or have something stolen from their car while it is parked at home.

The second most likely place to have your car stolen is when it is parked on the street in town – though vandalism is more likely to take place when it parked on a street in a residential area.

Car theft / theft from car location

  • At home – 58.7% / 66.5%
  • On the street in town – 14.1% / 8.8%
  • On the street in a residential area – 7.0% / 7.7%
  • In a parking lot – 2.2% / 7.5%
  • At work – 4.0% / 1.1%

Half (50.4%) of vehicle thefts and 49% of thefts from cars take place after dark, and between 69% and 74% of all car crimes occur during the week.

Car theft / theft from car hours

  • At night – 50.4% / 49.0%
  • Early morning – 30.3% / 24.2%
  • Afternoon hours – 18.1% / 25.2%
  • Undetermined – 1.1% / 1.7%


When it comes to other crimes, such as robbery and break-ins, the survey also provides a profile of time and place.

Unsurprisingly, as reflected in the crime stats, most robberies take place in residential areas, accounting for about half of all crimes.

The SAPS reported just short of 254,000 robberies at residential addresses in 2015 – the top 5 regions where these occurred are:

# Region Province Reported Crimes
1 Park Road FS 1 923
2 Honeydew GP 1 815
3 Witbank MP 1 532
4 Margate KZN 1 468
5 Roodepoort GP 1 302

Once again night time is the most dangerous period, with 51.4% of all break-ins occuring at night. A quarter (24.1%) happen during the afternoon, and 20.2% happen in the early hours of the morning.

Housebreaking hours

  • At night – 51.4%
  • Afternoon hours – 24.1%
  • Early morning – 20.2%
  • Undetermined – 4.4%

As many as 42.1% of incidents saw the criminals get in by smashing the door in, while the second most popular form of entry was through a window (34%).

Assault and sexual offences

SAPS reported 161,486 instances of common assault in 2015, as well as 53,617 reported cases of sexual offence.

When it comes to these personal crimes, victims report that 29.2% of all assaults were by spouse/lover, and 21.8% were by unknown community members.

The five regions where the most cases of assault occur are:

# Region Province Reported Crimes
1 Mitchells Plain WC 1 847
2 Worcester WC 1 737
3 Phoenix KZN 1 401
4 Hillbrow GP 1 212
5 Moroka GP 1 140

A third (32.7%) of sexual offenders are known community members, while 15.3% were unknown people from outside the community. 13.3% were spouses/lovers.

The five regions where most sexual offences occur are:

# Region Province Reported Crimes
1 Umlazi KZN 340
2 Inanda KZN 313
3 Jouberton NW 304
4 Thohoyandou LP 299
5 Nyanga WC 292

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Where you are most likely to get robbed or have your car stolen in South Africa