South Africa has seen a massive spike in hijackings, in the past year. Based on the SAPS crime stats from Oct 2021- Sep 2022, over 47 600vehicles were hijacked and stolen – that’s more than the number of seats in the Orlando Soccer Stadium!
Unfortunately, SA vehicle theft has become a billion-dollar industry. How much of a billion-dollar industry? Well according to the crime stats released by SAPS a whopping R4.9 billion worth of vehicles are taken across the border every year. That’s pretty much what it cost to build The Mall of Africa.
In this article, we’ll give you the latest hijacking insights in South Africa, so you can be more vigilant and prepared on the roads.
It’s important to understand the psychology of criminals and to know that very often, crimes are not coincidental. The execution of crime events often involves thorough planning and organised criminal tactics, which can catch potential victims off-guard, increasing their likelihood of being hijacked.
Here are some points to note, so you can be more prepared and understand perpetrator’s minds a bit better:
In addition, it’s also important to note that hijackers operate in groups of two to five, where they sometimes impersonate police or traffic officers, and can often be seen driving big luxury vehicles.
Furthermore, according to Fidelity Services, 48.9% of hijackers prefer white vehicles, however, the colour of the vehicle isn’t the top priority for hijackers, but rather the make and model. Hijackers are also becoming increasingly desperate to fulfil their supply and demand obligations, so they are willing to take more significant risks to get the vehicles they want.
According to MasterDrive, the prime times when hijackings are more likely are:
According to SAPS, carjackings are most prevalent in South Africa’s most populous regions, such as Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, and the Western Cape.
Do you know what the hijacking rate in South Africa is?
There has been an escalation in hijackings in the Eastern Cape compared to 2021, with a record 70% hike in cases.
However, Gauteng still has the most hijackings overall, with a 17% increase. According to Crime stats SA, over 19 380 vehicles were reported hijacked and stolen in Gauteng in less than a year.
Cartrack, a global leader in stolen vehicle recovery, has also reported a rise in hijacking incidents in the past year. In January 2023, Cartrack recovered 1228 vehicles with an estimated vehicle value of R188.103.71, 52 suspects were arrested, one firearm was recovered, and five jammers were confiscated.
Where do most hijackings take place in South Africa?
Cartrack has announced the top 10 worst hijacking hotspots in South Africa from January to December 2022, reporting the most incidents in Gauteng, KZN, and Cape Town:
We encourage you to be alert for new tactics or techniques used by criminals to hijack victims.
In fact, the SAPS have highlighted a disturbing new trend in hijacking cases, with a growing number of incidents also involving kidnappings as part of the crime.
Here are some other trends and methods to be aware of, so you can be more prepared and protected:
Unfortunately, hijackings are a reality, but there are certain measures we can take to protect ourselves. Remember, it’s important to check that you are not being followed, and you should always be extra vigilant when leaving malls, the office, or when heading home late at night – that is when most follow-homes take place.
Also make sure that you keep emergency numbers on hand such as your security provider, SAPS, and neighbours, if you suspect that you are being followed.
Click here to find out more ways to protect yourself against being a hijacking victim.
We hope that you never find yourself in a hijacking situation, but it’s important to remember to remain calm and do exactly as told by the hijacker and not make any sudden movements.
Your life matters more than your vehicle.
If you ever find yourself in a hijacking situation, Cartrack is a leader in stolen vehicle recovery, with an above 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate. Our highly trained air and on-the-ground recovery team, and 24-hour emergency response team, will do everything possible to recover your vehicle and give you emergency assistance.
We also have safety-add-on features, for even more additional safety, such as Cartrack’s Protector – an emergency service, accessed via the Cartrack app 24/7, which you can use in the event of a breakdown, medical situation or if legal advice is needed for a motor-related query.
And there’s also CarWatch, which keeps a digital eye on your car and will send you an alert if it moves or is started without your permission.
Sounds like ultimate safety, right?
Visit Cartrack Botswana today, to get a vehicle tracking device installed and learn more about how we can keep you and your vehicle safe 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.