The last decade saw 11 122 incidents of truck hijackings and related incidents of cargo crime in South Africa –around 1 110 per year.
But that figure could be even higher if the accuracy of data pertaining to crime perpetrated against the country’s logistics industry wasn’t compromised by under-reporting, says Andre Duvenage of the Transported Asset Protection Association (Tapa).
Speaking to an international business online site, Duvenage said that 90% of all truck-related crime was assisted by someone working on the inside of a transport association.
Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association, told the same online publication that insiders could often be found in all elements of the supplying chain, from production and manufacturing through to transportation, warehousing, and end-of-the-line distribution.
According to Duvenage cargo crime costs the logistics industry around R10 billion a year.
Of this figure at least R3 billion is insurance-related, the South African Insurance Crime Bureau has said.
As for hot spots that have been identified for concentrated incidents of cargo theft, Gauteng and Delmas have both been flagged for different reasons.
Gauteng has been reported as the location with the highest amount of truck hijackings and related robberies.
And Delmas with its myriad N4 on- and off-ramps has reported the highest incident level of theft from trucks.
Mpumalanga SAPS spokesperson Leonard Hlathi confirmed that Delmas had fast get-away appeal for truck hijackers.
He said police in Delmas had docketed several cases – 33 in 2018-19 alone – involving robberies of soybeans, diesel, yellow maize and biscuits. Tyres, coal, groceries, furniture, stationery and electric cables also rate high on the list of items wanted by criminals.
Kelly added that alcohol, fuel, electronic devices and consumer goods were all in the cross hairs of criminals who increasingly used violent means to achieve their goals.
He also said that as certain goods increased in demand over peak periods, such as Christmas and Easter, theft of these items also spiked. – Staff reporter