By Al Qalam Reporter
It took less than a minute for a control room staff to answer my “emergency” test call to the latest Namola Safety App that is taking the country by storm.
With rising crime affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the country, the Namola Safety App can be used to call a control centre and receive an almost immediate response from personnel who will dispatch emergency help in relation to the need.
Namola is a free crime response App that allows users to share their GPS coordinates, name and nature of the emergency with a 24/7 response call center. For genuine alerts, police, other emergency response and citizen responders are then dispatched and monitored.
This Al Qalam reporter tested the App by pressing an emergency response button on the App which read “Request Assistance”. An instant SMS was received, saying “Namola will contact you immediately.” However, within the minute, the phone rang and the person on the other end asked: “What is your emergency?” His GPS also gave my exact co-ordinates and I was to asked to confirm my location.
“Just a test,” I replied, “just a test.” No doubt, I was impressed.
“No problem sir,” said the voice, “if you have an emergency, don’t hesitate to call using the Namola App”, said the friendly voice.
It was comforting to know that the quick emergency response system, be it an accident or a crime related incident, could help save lives.
During a recent roll-out in Durban (for KZN), Deputy Mayor of Ethekweni Municipality, Councillor Fawzia Peer, said it was important to use technology to fight crime.
“I encourage all ratepayers to download Namola. We will strive to also respond to emergencies with speed.” She said crime affected everyone and “we have to all work together.”
According to Statistics South Africa’s Victims of Crime Survey, 1.2 million South African households experienced 1.5 million crime incidents in 2016/17. Most of these victims of crime probably contacted the national police emergency line, 10111, for help in their time of need. Some got the assistance they needed, some unfortunately 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. The SABC through its TV channel, SABC3, has come on board as Namola’s official media partner.
SABC Acting Group CEO, Nomsa Philiso, said the broadcaster will be spread awareness of the revolutionary Namola Safety App by informing South Africans how they can benefit from it.”
According to Yusuf Abramjee, anti crime activist and Namola Chief ambassador: “Namola was initially launched as an ‘Uber for police’ in the City of Tshwane and later, Gauteng. It was introduced to give victims of crime access to a new innovative way of contacting the police and now has over 80 000 registered users.”
He said Namola improves efficiencies and alleviates pressures placed on 10111 centers by pre-screening alerts. It also pinpoints the users’ exact location, making it easy for emergency services to find them.
According to Warwick Scott-Rodger, Executive Head of Dialdirect Insurance: “Namola 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.”
Scott-Rodger continues: “With future plans of highlighting crime hotspots and sharing proactive safety tips and information from community members, Namola is more than an app. It’s a platform for South Africans to come together. For Dialdirect, it’s just another way we’re using technology to make life easier, better and safer.
“As the numbers of registered users on Namola grows, the more power South Africa has to drive change within our police and emergency services,” he added.
Peter Matthaei of Namola said, “Namola is one of the biggest breakthroughs South Africa has had in the fight against crime for years. The way we call for emergency response is finally entering the 21st century.”
Namola is available at no cost. To turn your phone into a panic button, search for Namola in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or visit Namola.com.