The Rise of Vehicle Hijacking.

by | Jul 9, 2024

With vehicle theft and hijackings on the rise in South Africa, insurers are urging customers to install tracking devices to lower premiums. Tracker’s Vehicle Crime Index shows hijackings now make up 55% of vehicle crimes.

Since 2020, hijackings have surged. SAPS statistics reveal 5,973 incidents in the last quarter of 2023—about 66 per day, up 34% from pre-pandemic levels. Gauteng is the most affected region, with over half of these hijackings. The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal also see significant rates.

“These figures cover violent hijackings. Overall, vehicle thefts are around 10,000 per quarter,” says Marius Kemp from Santam.

Criminals are shifting focus from older cars to high-end models like double cabs and SUVs. High-tech features, such as keyless entry, are exploited by thieves. In response, insurers like Santam require anti-theft measures, including dual tracking devices and Faraday pouches to block keyless signals. While trackers don’t prevent theft, they improve recovery chances and can reduce insurance premiums.

For businesses, particularly those with delivery fleets, these measures help mitigate the financial impact of rising hijackings and related disruptions. Taking these steps can protect assets and potentially lower insurance costs for both individuals and businesses.