SA's Hijacking Hotspots & How to be best prepared


A vehicle hijacking isn't something any of us would ever want to deal with. South Africa, unfortunately, has a high rate of highjackings, so it's best to be as prepared for it as you can in case it happens to you. Here are the areas where you should be particularly vigilant and a few things to take note of. 

32 minutes! In this amount of time, one hijacking will occur somewhere in South Africa. And one will keep happening every 32 minutes after that. That’s 46 cars a day. It is a frightening statistic!

Hijackings increased by 14.5%  in 2017, that is 2 115 more hijackings than in 2016. If you work it out, a total of 16 717 cars were hijacked between April 2016 and March 2017. This is according to the 2017 National Crime Statistics.

Certain cars are high up on the list for hijackers, such as the Volkswagen Polo and more than half of hijackings occur in Gauteng. This is why you need to know where the hijacking hotspots are and how to be best prepared.

We chatted to Advanced Driver training company, MasterDrive, about what to do if you are hijacked.  

MasterDrive's top tips on how to be best prepared for a Hijacking

  • Pay attention: While the majority of hijackings occur outside your home, this is not the only place it can happen. A large percentage of hijackings occur at intersections which is why drivers should be as aware at intersections as what they are arriving home. Keep an eye on people at intersections. Be careful of people who might be trying to distract you. Never disregard someone because they are well dressed. Many hijackers are the well-dressed, inconspicuous people possibly reading newspapers at the corner.

  • Don’t pull in to your driveway and stop: You need to be stationary to be hijacked. Many drivers still come to a complete standstill when they don’t need to. You should never pull into your driveway until the gate is open. Wait in the road parallel to your driveway, ready to go at any moment, while the gate opens. Also, avoid stopping completely at intersections. If conditions allow, anticipate traffic light changes and drive slowly up to the intersection to avoid stopping at all.

  • Reverse parking: When at a shopping centre find a parking space against a wall. Then reverse your car into the parking space. When you return to your car you can offload your purchases while keeping an eye open for potential threats. The wall at your back also prevents someone from surprising you from behind.

  • Practice: Before you find yourself in a hijack situation with your children, teach them where to sit in the car and what to do if it does happen. Agree on a keyword which will mobilise car occupants into action. Babies should be behind the passenger seat so you can reach over and unbuckle them without exiting the car. Teach older children how to assist the younger ones

Pro-Active South Africa is a vehicle tracking app which gathered information from SAPS, tracking Companies and South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) to compile a list of hijacking hotspots around South Africa.

Johannesburg Hijacking Hotspots


  • Pretoria Road, CR Swart

  • Elgin Road and Pretoria Road, Johannesburg

  • Linksfield Road, N3

  • Booysens Road, M1

  • Nelson Mandela Bridge

  • Wolmarans Road, Johannesburg

  • Saratoga Road, Johannesburg

  • Abel road, Johannesburg

  • Houghton Drive, M1

  • Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg

  • Krause Street, Pageview

  • Heidelberg Road, Johannesburg

  • Kyalami Drive, Johannesburg

  • Beyers Naude road and N1

  • Sunninghill, N1, Rivonia

  • Midrand, Clayville

  • Grayston, Rivonia, 11th Street.

  • Empire Road, Johannesburg

  • Jan Smuts Avenue, William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park

  • Witkoppen Road

  • Bramley, Johannesburg

  • Yeoville, Johannesburg

  • Norwood, Johannesburg

  • Sandringham, Johannesburg

  • 11th avenue and 7th Avenue, Johannesburg

  • Hillbrow Precinct, Upper Houghton, Killarney

  • Saxonworld, Parkwood

  • Christiaan de Wet and Wilgerood road

  • Louis Botha Avenue, M11, Hillbrow, Alexandra

  • Riviera Road and M1

  • 11th Avenue, Fairland

  • 1st Avenue and Pretoria Main road, Johannesburg

  • New road and N1, Midrand

  • William Nichol, N1 highway

  • Nelson Mandela Drive, Johannesburg

  • Outside Eskom’s MegaWatt Park. (Maxwell Drive, Sunninghill)

  • Midrand Road and Cedar Road


Cape Town Hijacking Hotspots


  • Military Road and Prince George Drive, Cape Town

  • St Stephens Road, Cape Town

  • Alice Street and Voortrekker Road, Cape Town

  • Station Road, Cape Town

  • Klipfontein Road, Cape Town

  • Prestwich Road, Ebenhezer, Cape Town

  • Vanguard Drive, Cape Town

  • R300, N1 Cape Town


Tshwane Hijacking Hotspots


  • Es’kia Mphahlele Drive

  • Paul Kruger Street

  • R55

  • Burnett Street

  • Delfi Avenue and Garsfontein Road

  • Stormvoel Road Traffic Lights

  • Watermeyer Street Traffic Lights

  • Nelson Mandela Drive

  • Simon Vermooten Rd & Lynnwood Rd

  • Lynwood Drive and Solomon Mahlangu Drive

  • Justice Mahomed Street (Walker Street)

  • Duncan Street

  • Lynnwood Rd & University Rd

  • Rigel and N1 Off-Ramp

  • Pretoria St & Simon Vermooten Rd

  • Simon Vermooten Road and Furrow Road

  • Lynwood Road and N1 Off-Ramp

  • Solomon Mahlangu Drive (Hans Strydom) and N4 Off-Ramp

  • Solomon Mahlangu and R21

  • Atterbury Road and N1 Off-Ramp

  • Pretorius Street Traffic Lights

  • Francis Baard Street & Festival Street

  • Francis Baard Street and Hilda Street

  • Francis Baard Street and Grosvenor Street


Durban Hijacking hotspots


  • AN Centre, 16 Chestnut Cres, Marianhill,

  • 1 Justice St, Chatsworth

  • Umlazi V

  • 2 Police Station Rd, Isipingo

  • 36 Deodar Ave, Umbilo

  • Julius Nyerere St & Anton Lembede St, Greyville

  • Dr Pixley Kaseme St,

  • 182 Botanic Gardens Rd, Musgrave

  • Sherwood

  • Alpine Rd

  • 2 Marbleray Dr, New Dawn Park

  • Park Hill, Durban North


What to do if you are hijacked

Please note this is a very simplified version and every situation is unique

  • Remain calm

  • Keep your hands visible at all times.

  • Use your left hand, rather than your right, to remove your seatbelt and put the car in neutral

  • Give your keyword to the kids if they are in the car.

  • The idea is to get everyone in the car to exit through the driver’s door – no matter their age or size

  • In this way, the hijacker cannot jump into the seat and drive off before everyone is out of the car.

  • Once everyone is out, move slightly away from them and the car so that you remove yourself from the path of the car

  • Both yourself and the hijacker want it to be over as quickly as possible – follow these tips to do that. Never refuse to hand over the key or try bargain with the hijacker

  • The most important tip is to do what the hijacker tells you to. Your life is not worth the price of your car.

Parting tips:

  • These techniques can only be effective if you are aware of your surroundings and spot a potential threat before it reaches your window.

  • Remember a car is replaceable, but a life isn’t. Your primary objective should be to get yourself and your family out the car as quickly and safely as possible.

  • Anyone, at any time, in any car can be hijacked. Thus, never fall into the trap of believing that you are completely safe in your particular car or in the area where you live or the time of day that you drive. Always be alert and follow the above tips as a matter of habit.

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