A Comprehensive Guide to South African Emergency Numbers

In South Africa, where every second counts in an emergency, having the right contact information readily available can make a crucial difference. This guide provides a comprehensive list of emergency numbers you should save on your phone, along with essential details you need to know before making a call.

Remember: There is no single emergency number for all situations in South Africa. Different emergencies require different contacts.

Before You Call:

Before dialing any emergency number during a crisis, ensure you have the following information ready:

  • Specific location details: This includes the exact address or landmarks near the incident to help emergency personnel locate you quickly.
  • Incident details: Clearly and calmly describe the situation, including the nature of the emergency, the number of people involved, and any immediate dangers.
  • Contact information: Provide your name and phone number, and ensure the line remains open until help arrives.
  • Suspect/Vehicle details (if applicable): If a crime is involved, provide descriptions of suspects or vehicle details like registration number, make, model, and color.
  • Patient information (if applicable): In medical emergencies, report the patient’s breathing and consciousness status, and describe any injuries sustained.
  • Important: Never hang up unless instructed to do so by the operator.

Primary Emergency Numbers

  • South African Police Service (SAPS): 10111
  • Military Police Crime Line: 0800 567 567
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Cell Phone Emergency: 112 (This number works on all mobile networks and connects you to the appropriate emergency service.)
  • Firearm Call Centre: 012 353 6111

Fire Emergencies

South Africa’s Fire Services provide vital firefighting and rescue services. Here are some essential numbers:

  • National Fire Brigade: 10111
  • Disaster Management Center: 012 848 4602
  • Additionally, various provincial, municipal, and district firefighter numbers exist. Refer to the following list for some prominent examples:
    • City of Cape Town Headquarters: 107 (landline)/ 021 480 7700 (cell)
    • Cape Winelands District Municipality: 021 887 4446
    • Other regional fire department numbers: You can find a comprehensive list of regional fire department numbers on the official website of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) at https://www.cogta.gov.za/.

Other Important Emergency Numbers

Beyond police and fire services, here are additional crucial emergency contacts:

  • Lifeline (Suicide Prevention): 021 461 1113
  • Child Emergency: 0800 123 321
  • Childline: 0800 055 555 / 021 461 1113
  • Safe Schools Call Centre: 0800 454 647
  • Crime Stop (Anonymous Crime Tip-Offs): 0860 010 111
  • Western Cape Poisons Information Helpline: 0861 555 777
  • National Red Cross Poison Hotline: 021 689 5227
  • Other regional poison emergency numbers: Similar to fire departments, various regional poison information hotlines exist. You can find a comprehensive list on the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH) website at https://www.nioh.ac.za/.
  • Gender-Based Violence Command Center: 0800 428 428
  • Bureau of Missing Persons: 021 918 3512 / 3449 / 3452
  • Mountain Rescue: 021 948 9900
  • City of Cape Town (Electricity/Water Issues): 0860 103 089
  • Animal Welfare: 021 534 6426
  • SASSA Helpline (Social Security Agency of South Africa): 0800 601 011
  • Aviation Rescue: 083 1999

Staying informed and prepared is crucial in an emergency. Save this comprehensive list of South African emergency contact numbers on your phone and familiarize yourself with the information you should have ready before making a call. Remember, every second counts, and having the right information readily available can make a significant difference in an emergency situation.

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