Gauteng remains SA’s car crime capital, commercial vehicles face higher risk

File picture: Newspress.

File picture: Newspress.

Published Feb 14, 2024


When it comes to car related crime in South Africa, there is just no letting up.

According to the latest Tracker Vehicle Crime Index, which aggregates information from a database of more than 1.1 million vehicles, the second half of 2023 saw an increase in vehicle crimes.

61% of these crimes occurred in Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 14% and the Western Cape at 9%.

55% of all hijackings occurred in Gauteng, but interestingly this province - which has the most cars in South Africa - also had the lowest proportion of hijackings to vehicle thefts at 48% versus 52%.

Nationally hijackings account for 55% of all vehicle crimes, versus theft at 45%.

However, business-owned vehicles remain the biggest target for criminals, with Tracker’s data showing they are 56% more likely to be hijacked or stolen than a regular personal vehicle. With a higher hijacking propensity of 64%, these vehicles are almost twice as likely to be hijacked than stolen.

As you’d expect, more than half of crimes involving business owned vehicles took place in Gauteng, at 56%, followed by KZN (14%) and the Western Cape (13%). Gauteng also showed the highest propensity of business vehicle crime relative to regular vehicles, with an over-representation of 17%, versus 12% for KZN.

According to data recently released by Fidelity, the vehicles most at risk of hijacking in South Africa are the Toyota Fortuner, Hilux, Corolla Cross and Rav4, as well as the Ford Ranger, Nissan NP200 and Volkswagen Polo.

Most vehicle hijackings are reported on Fridays between 4pm and 8pm, Tracker said, while vehicle thefts are most commonly reported on Saturdays between 11am and 3pm.

November was a unusually busy month for car criminals last year, particularly around busy shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“Tracker's vehicle crime statistics parallel the SAPS crime data for 2023, reflecting a steady increase in vehicle crime from quarter one to quarter three,” Tracker COO Duma Ngcobo said.

“It is imperative to remain vigilant, especially during peak shopping periods. Your safety should always take precedence over material possessions.”

IOL Motoring