These Are The Top 5 Hijacking Hotspots In KwaZulu-Natal


May 7, 2024
Team Pineapple

KwaZulu-Natal, known for its stunning coastal cities and rich history, now grapples with the unsettling reality of motorists facing threats to their safety on its roads.

Hijacking stats from earlier in the year showed a notable 6.4% decrease nationwide (A total of 5 488 carjacking incidents were recorded compared to 2022’s 5 866); KwaZulu-Natal still remains a contender for the most affected carjacking area, coming in a close second (859 incidents in Jan-March 2022/23) to Gauteng (2 573 incidents Jan-March in 2022/23).

Furthermore, this decrease would be more comforting were it not for the month-on-month data showing that carjackings increased by 8.9% over the quarter to 1,898 in June from 1,742 in April.

So, what’s a weary motorist to do?

Arming oneself with knowledge and actionable strategies can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to such devastating incidents. Here’s how.

Hijacking Hotspots in KZN

It’s common knowledge that there are certain seedy parts of our country one should avoid at all costs. However, this may not always be possible; you might have pressing business in the area or maybe simply passing by. 

Either way, you could find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In KZN, the aforementioned danger zones, a.k.a ‘hijacking hotspots’ are as follows: 

  1. Bhekithemba
  2. Inanda
  3. Mariannhill
  4. Ntuzuma
  5. Umlazi

According to findings by the SAPS, townships accounted for the large majority of carjacking cases, followed by urban suburbs, while rural areas/villages came in a distant third.

Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Services group, Wahl Bartmann, noted that these incidents usually occur between 06:00 and 19:00 during peak traffic periods, with most of these hijackings happening on Thursdays and Fridays in cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban. 

So, the next time you find yourself nearby, we urge you to lock your doors, practice caution and remain vigilant. 

Common Hijacking Tactics

The lengths criminals are going to now to relieve you of your vehicle can closely rival a Hollywood production. The staging, the acting and the dramatics; hijackers have become increasingly sophisticated in their methods of preying on unsuspecting motorists. 

That’s why it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with them so as not to fall victim to their tactics.

Boxing in


Hijackers use another vehicle, often with multiple occupants, to box you in, thereby restricting your escape routes. This can happen when parking, at a traffic light, or even while driving at slower speeds. Once trapped, it becomes easier for them to confront you and take control of the vehicle. This method is also popularly used to prey on motorists by blocking their driveway as they arrive home.

Faux law enforcement officials

One of the more sinister methods involves impersonators posing as law enforcement or other official entities. They might signal you to pull over, using counterfeit uniforms and vehicles to gain your trust. Once you comply, they reveal their true criminal intentions.


This could be someone feigning distress, selling goods, or even approaching your vehicle under the pretence of needing assistance. Another tactic is gently bumping you from behind. While you get out to assess the damage or exchange insurance details, this presents a golden opportunity for the hijacker to strike, especially if you haven't adequately surveyed your surroundings.

Obstacles in the road

A calculated scheme involves placing obstacles (debris, abandoned baby car seats, etc.) in the roadway, forcing you to stop. The goal is to exploit your natural response to halt, making it easier for the hijackers to approach and seize the vehicle.

Armed with this knowledge, you can cultivate a proactive mindset, always scanning your environment and trusting your instincts when something feels off.

High-risk Vehicles

All throughout the country, certain vehicles have been identified as a fan-favourite in the hijacking sphere, and KZN is no different.

Data by Statista shows that Toyota was the most commonly targeted car brand in South Africa in 2023, with nearly 32% of all hijacked vehicles reported as belonging to the brand. This was followed by Volkswagen, which contributed around 14% of all hijacking cases.

Fidelity also singled out the following list of high-risk cars:

  • VW Polo
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota Etios
  • Ford ranger
  • Toyota Fortuner
  • Nissan NP200 

Bartmann added that Toyota Prados and Toyota Landcruisers are the most popular models for criminals, but Hilux and Fortuner GD6 models are still preferred.

Safety Tips to Prevent Hijackings

Now that you know the tactics criminals employ, you should actively take steps to minimise risks.

  1. Always scan your surroundings and be vigilant. Never let your guard down, especially in known hijacking hotspots or during high-risk times such as early mornings or late evenings. 

  1. Plan your route. By varying your routes and travel times, you become less predictable, making it harder for hijackers to plan an attack or ambush you.

  1. Ensure your car's central locking system functions correctly. As basic as this might seem, always double-check that all doors are locked and windows are properly shut. 

  1. Keep sufficient distance from the next car. When you come to a stop behind another car, make sure you can see its rear wheels. This spacing ensures you have an escape route should you need to manoeuvre at a moment’s notice.

  1. Hide your valuables. If you need to communicate while driving, invest in hands-free tools. Visible phone use can attract potential hijackers, so it's wise to be discreet.

  1. Avoid distractions. Avoid activities that might divert your attention from your surroundings including checking phones, adjusting the GPS, or changing radio stations while stationary.

  1. Always double-check that your car’s locked before walking away. Criminals often use remote devices to interfere with car alarms or locking systems, especially in public parking areas. 

  1. Invest in smash and grab-proof windows. PG Glass offers a smash-and-grab window film by Llumar, “specifically designed to offer additional protective barriers between the vehicle occupants and external elements, human or otherwise.”

  1. Install a tracking device. So, no, having a tracker will not prevent carjackers from getting their hands on your vehicle. However, it will make locating it a whole lot easier.

A bonus tip would be to be careful when using navigation apps. 

Navigation tools and technology have come a long way, but they’re still known to get things wrong occasionally. 

For example, a navigator’s main purpose is to direct you to your destination in the least amount of time. However, some short cuts may take you through crime-riddled, hijacking hotspot areas, thereby risking your safety.

What to Do If You're Hijacked

Few things are as traumatic as being involved in a hijacking, but knowing what actions to take during the ordeal can increase your chances of staying safe.

First thing’s first, stay calm.

While it may be difficult, try to remain as calm as possible given the current situation. Hijackers are also nervous, and a calm demeanour might prevent the situation from escalating. 

Next, it’s better to comply with all their demands. Give them what they want—keys, wallet, phone—and do it slowly, ensuring they know you're not a threat.

Another way to let them know you mean no harm is by averting your gaze.

A hijacker could perceive direct eye contact as a threat. Still, try your best to remember distinguishing features, tattoos, scars, or even the sound of their voice, as this can help the police later.

Once safe, call the SAPS (South African Police Service) on 08600 10111

SAPS will arrive on the scene and dispatch medical services if needed. You can phone 112 on any cellular network if you require any other emergency numbers.

Lastly, if your vehicle has a tracking device or a remote or panic button, activate it once you are at a safe distance. Alternatively, contact your tracking company ASAP (as soon as possible) to inform them of the incident.

It’s important to note that some insurance providers have terms and conditions that specify the need for a tracking device to be installed in the vehicle. 

Without one, the likelihood of your claim being approved decreases, especially with a stolen vehicle.


In the face of ever-increasing hijackings, especially in areas like KwaZulu-Natal, preparation is more vital than ever. Being prepared can mean the difference between a close call and a tragic event.

By staying informed, you eliminate fear and uncertainty and instead empower yourself with the knowledge to navigate potential risks.

Also, it's worth noting that while you take every precaution, unforeseen circumstances still do arise. 

This is where having a reliable partner like Pineapple to insure your vehicle becomes invaluable. Our seamless, user-friendly process is perfect for today’s digital era and ensures that should the worst happen, you have a safety net to fall back on. 

Remember, it's not just about insuring your car; it's about securing peace of mind.

And besides, driving without Pineapple coverage is like trying to make a pineapple smoothie without any pineapples; your efforts will be fruitless.

So, why not get an obligation-free quote for competitively-priced comprehensive car insurance today and enjoy protection against hijacking, weather-related damage, and much more?

The best part is that it only takes 90 seconds because we’re sure you have a lot of important things to accomplish today. 

Make sure that getting insured is one of the things you cross off of today’s ‘to-do’ list.

Please Note: The information provided above is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as legal or financial advice.

Pineapple (FSP 48650), is underwritten by Old Mutual Insure, a licensed FSP and non-life insurer. T&C’s apply. Premium is risk profile dependent.

Team Pineapple

Team Pineapple comprises our company’s top talents, who are dedicated to creating clear, high-quality content on essential vehicle insurance topics. This diverse group, including actuaries, accountants, data scientists, and insurance professionals across South Africa, collaborates to produce enlightening and empowering articles.

Each piece is thoroughly researched, factually accurate, and rigorously reviewed to ensure quality.

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Please Note: The information provided above is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as legal or financial advice.

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