hijacking in driveways
Hijacking hotspots. Image: iStock

Home » Hijackers in SA are now targetting delivery vehicles

Hijackers in SA are now targetting delivery vehicles

Hijackers have a new target in South Africa: business-owned or delivery vehicles, regardless of whether the vehicles are branded or not.

hijacking in driveways
Hijacking hotspots. Image: iStock

Hijackers have a new target in South Africa: business-owned vehicles. With the rise in online shopping, hijackers are increasingly targeting delivery vehicles. It does not seem to make a difference whether these vehicles are branded or not.


Online shopping has seen a significant increase in South Africa over the past couple of years. During the Covid pandemic, in particular, there was a surge in online shopping. Some South Africans “discovered” online shopping because of the lockdown and other regulations during the pandemic and many of them continued using online shopping after the pandemic because of the convenience.

South Africa’s online retail sector reached R71 billion in 2023, marking a 29% increase from 2022. While this growth is a positive development for businesses in the country, criminals are finding ways to profit from it.

According to Business Tech, the rise in online shopping has resulted in more delivery vehicles on our roads, making them a prime target for hijackers and thieves.


Tracker SA stated that “crime aimed at online deliveries proves highly lucrative, whether the objective is acquiring the delivered goods, seizing cash or devices carried by drivers, or commandeering the delivery vehicle”.

Of the reported hijacked loads, 81% were fast-moving consumable goods (FMCG), such as alcohol, clothing, groceries, couriered parcels from online sales platforms, homeware, and medication.

Vehicle-related crimes are often planned, premeditated, and systematic. However, opportunistic criminals also take advantage of situations like darkness caused by loadshedding or by luring their victims through placing fake online orders.


In Gauteng the routes that are hotspots for fleet vehicle crime are the N12, R24/R21, R23, and the N3.

Gauteng remains the province with the highest number of business vehicle-related crimes, accounting for 56% of incidents. KwaZulu-Natal experiences 14% of these incidents and the Western Cape 13%, according to Engineering News.

Hijacking is the most common type of vehicle crime in South Africa. Tracker’s data indicates that hijackings make up 55% of all national vehicle crime incidents, versus theft at 45%. Business-owned vehicles are almost twice as likely to be hijacked than stolen.

Due to the rise in vehicle hijacking and theft, related insurance claims have increased to unsustainable levels. Many insurance companies now require certain clients to install two tracking devices in an attempt to ease the cost of these claims. It is also likely that insurance companies will increase their premiums.