Namola: ‘Uber for po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices’

Saturday Star - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

MORE than 1.2 mil­lion South African house­holds ex­pe­ri­enced a crime in­ci­dent dur­ing the past year. Most of these vic­tims prob­a­bly con­tacted the na­tional po­lice emer­gency line, 10111. Some got the as­sis­tance they needed and oth­ers didn’t.

To bridge the com­mu­ni­ca­tion gap, and get help fast, Dialdirect In­surance has part­nered with Namola to make South Africa’s fastest-grow­ing safety app avail­able na­tion­ally.

SABC3 has come on board as Namola’s of­fi­cial me­dia part­ner.

Namola is a free crime re­sponse app that al­lows users to share their GPS co-or­di­nates, name and na­ture of the emer­gency with a 24/7 re­sponse call cen­tre. For gen­uine alerts, po­lice, other emer­gency re­sponse and cit­i­zen re­spon­ders are then dis­patched and mon­i­tored.

Yusuf Abram­jee, crime ac­tivist and Namola chief am­bas­sador, said Namola was ini­tially launched as an “Uber for po­lice” in Tsh­wane and later the whole of Gaut­eng.

“It was in­tro­duced to give vic­tims of crime ac­cess to a new, in­no­va­tive way of con­tact­ing the po­lice and it now has more than 80 000 reg­is­tered users.”

Namola im­proves ef­fi­cien­cies and al­le­vi­ates pres­sures placed on 10111 cen­tres by pre-screen­ing alerts. It also pin­points the user’s ex­act lo­ca­tion, making it easy for emer­gency ser­vices to find them, Abram­jee said.

War­wick Scott-Rodger, ex­ec­u­tive head of Dialdirect In­surance, said the app is a smart com­ple­ment to 10111.

“Your call will al­ways be an­swered and the in­for­ma­tion will be passed on to the near­est po­lice sta­tion. Namola doesn’t guar­an­tee that the po­lice will be on time, but it im­proves your chances to get help greatly.”

SABC act­ing group chief ex­ec­u­tive Nomsa Philiso added that, as a broad­caster, the call to fight crime and as­sist com­mu­ni­ties with ef­fi­cient crime-re­port­ing chan­nels is one of its top pri­or­i­ties.

“We all have a huge role to play in fight­ing crime and, through the SABC3, we hope the SABC will con­trib­ute a great deal to spread­ing max­i­mum aware­ness about the so­lu­tion the Namola app brings to South Africans and how they can ben­e­fit from it.”

Dur­ing his maiden State of the Prov­ince ad­dress, Gaut­eng Premier David Makhura al­luded to the use of tech­nol­ogy in the fight against crime.

In re­sponse to the premier’s call, Gaut­eng’s MEC for Com­mu­nity Safety, Siza­kele Nkosi-Malobane, said she was ex­cited about the na­tional roll-out of Namola.

“We pi­loted the tech­nol­ogy in some of the Gaut­eng traf­fic po­lice high-per­for­mance ve­hi­cles and the tech­nol­ogy has proved to be ef­fec­tive in im­prov­ing turn­around time when re­spond­ing to crime in­ci­dents and emer­gency alerts.”

Namola’s Peter Matthaei said the app is one of the big­gest break­throughs South Africa has had in the fight against crime.

Pabi Moloi, ra­dio and TV host; Peter Matthaei, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Namola; Yusuf Abram­jee, anti-crime ac­tivist and chief am­bas­sador of Namola; Nomsa Philiso, SABC act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive; War­wick Scott-Rodger, ex­ec­u­tive head of Dialdirect; and Stephen Podile, chief di­rec­tor of Gaut­eng Com­mu­nity Safety, at the launch of Namola.

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