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SA to get single emergency number on track

by Edwin Tshivhidzo
on 18 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Plans to have South Africans using only one emergency number to call for help from anywhere in the country are at an advanced stage, says the Department of Communications.

The new 112 emergency centre will integrate all the services into one number, thereby making is easier for South Africans to get help in any type of emergency, should be unveiled by the end of next year.

Currently, there are more than 350 emergency centres handling various emergency services, set up by different organisations and operating using a variety of numbers.

The result is that there are numerous numbers of emergency service providers and in the event of a specific emergency one could get confused.

The department is on track to meeting its deadline for a complete national implementation of the 112 Emergency Centre in the last quarter of 2009.

The department has opened the Public and Private Partnership (PPP) tender process to appoint a private partner for the financing, design, management, maintenance and operating of the 112 Emergency Centre on behalf of government.

The tender process is on track and the department hopes to appoint the successful bidder in the third quarter of this year.

The department will be interfacing with the various operators (mobile and fixed), police, emergency medical services on the technical specifications and inputs into the process.

Once the 112 Emergency Centre tender has been awarded and the system is operational, the 112 centre agents will be able to direct calls to the relevant emergency services - irrespective of where they are in the country.

The department is working together with the South African Police Service, Emergency Management Services, and the National Disaster Management of the Department of Provincial and Local Government in this process. - BuaNews

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System

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