Businesses in South Africa endured an average of more than three truck hijackings a day in 2018/19, according to new crime data reported by the South African Police Service (SAPS), although the figure did fall 1.7% versus the previous 12 months.

Intelligence issued this month for the year ending 31 March 2019 shows there has been little change in the number of attacks recorded in the last five SAPS annual reports:

·         2014/15 – 1,279 truck hijackings

·         2015/16 – 1,184

·         2016/17 – 1,183

·         2017/18 – 1,202

·         2018/19 – 1,182

These figures do not include criminal attacks on armoured cash-in-transit vehicles, which reduced by 55 or 23.1% in this latest reporting period to 183.

Truck hijackings in the three main hotspot provinces were all lower year-on-year. Gauteng province still dominated the annual statistics with a total of 647 hijackings over the course of 12months, but this was 61 fewer reported crimes than for the year before, a fall of 8.6%. The other provinces’ data showed:

·         Western Cape – 117 truck hijackings, down 3.3% YoY

·         Mpumalanga – 116, down 4.1%

·         Eastern Cape – 110, up by 18 or 19.6%

·         KwaZulu-Natal – 80 incidents, up 28 or 53.8%

·         North West – 54, a growth of 13 or 31.7%

·         Free State – 39 attacks or 21.9% higher

·         Limpopo – 15 hijackings, a drop of 17 or 53.1%

·         Northern Cape – 4 incidents, a rise of 33.3%

The top five police stations involved in truck hijack investigations in 2018/19 were:

·         Delmas in Mpumalanga – 33 or 43.5% higher YoY

·         Heidelberg in Gauteng – 31 or -27.9%

·         Bedfordview in Gauteng – 28 or +33.3%

·         Alberton in Gauteng – 25 or -26.5% YoY

·         Kempton Park in Gauteng – 23 or -36.1%

While attacks on cargo facilities are not specified in the SAPS data, the level of extreme violence seen in attacks classed as ‘business robberies’ is beyond any doubt, with 16,324 crimes reporting  the use of firearms.

Thorsten Neumann, President & CEO of TAPA EMEA, who recently returned from the latest TAPA regional conference in South Africa, said: “While the high level of truck hijackings will not come as any surprise to our members, this latest SAPS intelligence reinforces the need for more companies to adopt our Trucking Security Requirements (TSR) to help protect their drivers, vehicles and cargo loads. We know from elsewhere in EMEA that TSR certified supply chains are more resilient so we urge companies operating in South Africa to contact us to find out how TAPA can help them manage these risks. At the same time, we are also calling on businesses to share their incident data with TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) because we can then build on the current intelligence  provided by law enforcement and use this knowledge to protect ourselves better against these types of violent attacks.”