As South Africa prepares to enter a 21-day lockdown, it’s important to note that essential services will be up and running – including those in place to protect your health and safety.
Aside from emergency healthcare numbers specifically catering for the Covid-19 coronavirus, the government has also set up several other hotlines dedicated to other issues that may arise. These include for personal safety at home, and to report pricing abuse from retailers.
Minister of police, Bheki Cele has warned that there is a possibility of an escalation in gender-based violence during this period, adding that the police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit has been beefed up to assist.
For normal crimes, the South African Police Service’s 10111 line will continue to be operational, with the South African National Defence Force supporting. You can also report contraventions of the lockdown regulations to this number.
The Department of Trade and Industry, meanwhile, has ramped up investigations into stores that are hiking prices to take advantage of consumers who need essential goods.
The contact numbers for these services are below.
Government said that it expects a huge flood of calls over the next three weeks, and asks for patience as it tries to deal with all concerns during this time.
Electricity supply, water and sanitation are considered essential services, so your local plumber and electrician should be able to see to any emergencies that happen during the lockdown, provided the normal restrictions (no contact and a safe distance) are adhered to, and they have listed themselves as part of the essential services.
Other emergency numbers, for fire fighting and ambulances (10177) also still apply.
The country has a 24 hour national hotline to the National Institute of Communicable diseases, as well as some provincial hotlines available. for those who have contracted the virus or suspect they have. These lines are for those exhibiting symptoms, or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
- Covid-19 National Hotline: 0800 029 999
- WhatsApp updates: 0600 123 456
- Mediclinic Covid-19 Hotline: 0860 240 024
- Western Covid-19 Cape hotline: 021 928 4102
- Gauteng Covid-19 hotline: 0800 428 8364
Violence against women and children
Government has assured that shelters for the vulnerable will remain functional during the lockdown, including old age homes, child and youth care centres and rehabilitation centres.
- GBV command centre: 0800 428 428 or *120*7867# (free)
- Urgent victim response line: 0800 150 150
- SAPS: 08600 10111
IPID has made several hotlines available to report any abuse by police officers during the lockdown.
- Eastern Cape: 082 592 9888
- Free State: 063 225 6081
- Gauteng: 076 455 5718
- Limpopo: 078 871 4811
- KwaZulu-Natal: 079 895 2741
- Mpumalanga: 072 881 4196
- Northern Cape: 064 624 8203
- North West: 078 163 6874
- Western Cape: 073 890 1269
Small and medium businesses
The new Solidarity Fund has already raised hundreds of millions of rand to support businesses and individuals. Small business owners can call a hotline to find out what support they qualify for.
- SMME distress line: 0860 663 7867
- Or email: [email protected]
Rising prices on essential goods is illegal during the lockdown. If you see businesses try to take advantage of the situation they can be reported.
- DTI hotline: 0800 141 880
Government departments have hotlines for specific concerns, especially related to visas for foreigners or problems with water and sanitation, or issues directly related to the tourism idnsutry.
- Department of Home Affairs: 0800 601 190
- Department of Water and Sanitation: 0800 200 200
- Department of Tourism: 0860 868 747
- Presidential hotline: 17737
SARS will have staff available at the SARS Contact Centre and you can engage with them on 0800 00 7277.
The following services are available at the SARS Contact Centre:
- Enquiry about on debt outstanding
- Enquiry about on returns outstanding
- Tax Compliance Status
- Filing your Tax Returns
- Request Statement of Account
- How to Submit supporting documents for an audit case
- Lodge a complaint
- Username Retrieval and Password Reset
- Request for advice
SARS has also set up specific email addresses for various queries.