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The top emergency numbers every South African should have

Article provided by Santam

We’ve put together a few tips along with the three emergency numbers we believe every South African should have to help you through most situations.


Try to stay calm and make sure you have these details ready:

  • the nature of the emergency
  • exact location of the incident (including nearby landmarks), and
  • the details about any injuries.

Remember: never hang up until you are told to do so.

Nationwide Emergency Response – 10111

Dial the telephone number 10111 from anywhere in South Africa and a call centre operator will answer the incoming call, take all necessary particulars and assign the complaint to a Flying Squad patrol vehicle, or the local police station, to attend to the incident.

Cellphone emergency – 112

For emergencies, you can call 112 from any cellphone in South Africa. You will then reach a call centre and they will route you to an emergency service closest to you.

When you dial this number you will reach an automated menu. Don’t let this frustrate you. The menu acts as a form of triage (priority of treatment) control and filters out abuse of the medical and emergency system.

It’s very easy to get caught up in distress but remember to stay calm and make sure the emergency medical services team knows exactly how to reach you.

Ambulance – 10177

This number can be used in the case of a medical emergency and can be called in conjunction with both the fire and police department respectively, depending on whether or not there are casualties.

If you don’t have these three numbers stored already, we recommend that you put them in your phone. In fact, you may want to store them all under ‘Emergency’ as follows:

Emergency – Ambulance (10177)
Emergency – Cell phone (112)
Emergency – National (10111)

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