Amy Fraser5 February 2024 | 8:31

Whistleblower exposes SAPS' broken 10111 emergency number

Hope and pray you don't need to call the emergency number right now.

Whistleblower exposes SAPS' broken 10111 emergency number

Picture: @SAPoliceService/X

Lester Kiewit interviews an anonymous member of the South African Police Service (Saps).

Disclaimer: To safeguard the caller's identity, we have omitted the audio from this article and modified his voice as per his request.

During emergencies, it's crucial to reach out to 10111 as the initial point of contact.

However, the South African Police Service (Saps) acknowledges that its communication system experienced an outage for more than a week.

In a previous conversation with Ian Cameron from Action Society SA, he emphasised that dialling 10111 for a major crime might pose challenges, as the control room cannot connect with the flying squad due to the system breakdown.

As an alternative, Saps had to rely on WhatsApp, but this proved ineffective without a reliable signal and data connection.

RELATED: Police relying on WhatsApp amid Western Cape SAPS comms breakdown

The anonymous caller claims the issue has persisted for more than five years, and blames radio systems that have reached the end of their operating lifespans.

Technicians had previously alerted higher-ups about this, he adds. 

The source further explains that during loadshedding, the response time to address concerns is prolonged, even for critical complaints.

According to the whistleblower, a short-term fix has become impossible; the entire network requires replacement.

"Even if it is a serious complaint, the response time will be even longer."
- Anonymous
"This is not the first time; it's actually been coming on for more than five years."
- Anonymous
"There is no way of repairing this within a week or two weeks; we need to upgrade the whole network...The whole network needs to be replaced."
- Anonymous
"The morale is very low."
- Anonymous