Home Healthcare Healthcare Basics Emergency phone numbers in South Africa
Last update on June 11, 2021
Written by Stephen Maunder

There is a range of emergency numbers in South Africa to cover any issues you might encounter, from reporting a crime to utility outages and lost property.

This guide to emergency phone numbers in South Africa includes advice on the following:

Emergency services in South Africa

If you require emergency services in South Africa, you can call the following numbers from any phone.

  • Police: 10111
  • Ambulance: 10177

You can also call 112 from any mobile phone in South Africa to be routed through to your network provider’s emergency call center. The operator then puts you through to the relevant emergency service (e.g., police, ambulance, fire, traffic police, sea rescue).

Some provinces in South Africa have additional emergency numbers. For example, you can call 107 in Cape Town for any kind of emergency.

Fire services in South Africa

The South African Fire Service responds to fires in South Africa. The Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa is the main trade body for firefighters; they are also responsible for training and education for firefighters.

Firefighters in South Africa

If you see a fire in South Africa, call the emergency response number 10111 immediately.

Some other useful contacts include the following:

  • Disaster Management Center: 012 848 4602
  • Provincial fire brigades: find contact details for your local fire brigade online.

Police in South Africa

Law enforcement in South Africa is the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS). Police officers carry an appointment card that is used as a marker of their identity; all officers must carry this card and display it upon request.

Police car in Knysna
A police car at an intersection in Knysna

The three main police call centers are the following:

  • Emergency number: 10111. Find more details of when to use the emergency number online.
  • Crime Stop: to report crimes as well as provide anonymous tip-offs. Call 08600 10111 or follow the guidance online.
  • Police service complaints center: report any issues with the police on 0800 333 177. Find out even more online.

You can also submit details of a crime through the MySAPS mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. Some other useful contacts are the following:

  • Military Police Crime Line: 0800 567 567
  • Firearm call center: 012 353 6111 or online.
  • Report a missing person: follow the steps on the SAPS website.

Healthcare and accidents in South Africa

In a medical emergency in South Africa, call 10111 or 10177. Some private health insurance providers also have their own medical emergency numbers. Netcare’s emergency contact number is 082 9111, while ER24 is available at 084 124.

Ambulance in the Western Cape
An ambulance in the Western Cape

You can contact the state helplines below if you have a health complaint, but it’s best to use the numbers above in an emergency.

  • Eastern Cape: 0800 032 364
  • Free State: 0800 535 554
  • Gauteng: 0800 203 886
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 033 395 2009
  • Limpopo: 0800 919 191
  • Mpumalanga: 0800 204 098
  • Northern Cape: 018 387 5778
  • Western Cape: 021 483 5624

Some other useful healthcare numbers include the following:

  • Government information on COVID-19: 0600 123 456 as well as online.
  • Mountain rescue: 031 307 7744 (KZN), 021 948 9900 (Western Cape), 074 125 1385 or 074 163 3952 (Gauteng).
  • Aviation rescue: 083 1999
  • Poison emergency numbers: 021 689 5227 (National Red Cross), 021 931 6129 (Tygerberg), 080 033 3444 (KZN), 082 491 0160 (Bloemfontein).
  • AIDS helpline: 0800 012 322

You can learn even more in our guide to healthcare in South Africa. You can also check out our advice on finding a South African doctor or a dentist in South Africa.

Mental health services in South Africa

  • National Crisis Line (LifeLine): 0861 322 322 or online.
  • Mental Health Information Line: 0800 567 567
  • Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837

Drug and alcohol services in South Africa

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: 0861 435 722 as well as online.
  • Narcotics Anonymous: 0861 00 6962 as well as online.
  • South African Depression and Anxiety Group: non-profit organization providing advice and information on mental health issues. See online for even more details of local groups.

Children, family, and youth services in South Africa

  • Childline: 0800 05 55 55
  • Child emergency line: 0800 123 321
  • Gender-based violence command center: 0800 428 428
  • People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA): 011 642 4345 as well as online.
  • Stop Gender Violence: confidential helpline. Call 0800 150 150 or see even more details online.
  • Report a sexual offence: follow the steps on the SAPS website.
  • FAMSA: family relationship advice line. Call 011 975 7107.

Crime-related services in South Africa

  • Anti-corruption helpline: 0800 701 701 or online.
  • Fraud helpline: 0800 601 011
  • Crime stop: helpline to report crime anonymously. Call 08600 10111.

Utility and telecommunications services in South Africa

Water leaks or outages

  • Department of Water Affairs: 0800 200 200
  • Johannesburg: 011 688 1500
  • Pretoria/Tshwane: 012 358 2111
  • Durban: 080 131 3013
  • Port Elizabeth: 041 360 7811
  • East London: 043 705 2111
  • Bloemfontein: 051 405 8191

Electricity outages or issues

  • Johannesburg: 011 375 5555
  • Pretoria/Tshwane: 080 111 1556
  • Durban: 080 131 3111
  • Port Elizabeth: 041 374 4434
  • East London: 043 705 9234 or 043 705 9200
  • Bloemfontein: 051 409 2345

Gas leaks or faults

  • Egoli Gas: 011 726 3138 or 011 726 4702
  • Sasol: 0800 212 260

Road and traffic emergencies in South Africa

If you are involved in a road traffic accident or encounter a traffic emergency in South Africa, call the emergency services at 10111.

If you’re involved in an accident, pull your vehicle over and then park in a safe position at the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights and also put out your warning triangle. Next, phone the emergency services. You’ll need to provide your name, location, and explain what happened.

  • National Traffic Call Center: report bad drivers and traffic issues. Call 0861 400 800 or go online.

LGBTQ+ services in South Africa

  • GALA: center for LGBT history, culture, and education. Read even more online.
  • Gender Dynamix: trans community organization. Find out even more online.
  • Iranti-org: rights organization for lesbian, transgender, and intersex people in South Africa. Learn even more about the organization online.
  • LGBT+ Forum: umbrella organization for LGBT+ employee network groups. Find out even more online.
  • OUT: organization providing healthcare as well as mental healthcare services for LGBT people. See online.

Homelessness services in South Africa

  • U-Turn: charity providing skills and learning for homeless people. Call 021 674 6119 as well as online.
  • Haven: charity providing night shelters for homeless people in South Africa. Call 021 425 4700 or see online.
  • United Way: organization helping homeless people during the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out even more online.

Animal services in South Africa

  • Four Paws: South African branch of the global animal welfare organization. Learn even more about their work online.
  • Animal Welfare Society of South Africa: organization offering veterinary, adoption, and rehoming services. See online.
  • NSPCA: organization battling animal abuse. See online.
  • Go Eco: animal rescue as well as a veterinary shelter offering rehabilitation programs for abused and neglected animals. Find out even more online.

Tourist services in South Africa

  • Embassies and consulates: government listings of contact details for embassies around South Africa. See online.
  • Department of Tourism: government tourism department. See online for news as well as travel advice.

Lost or stolen property in South Africa

  • Lost property: if you lose a valuable item or suspect it has been stolen, contact your local police force. If you lose an item on a train or at an airport, contact the station or transport provider directly, as it may have a lost and found service.
  • Lost and found pets: follow the step-by-step advice provided by the SPCA.
  • Lost bank cards: call your bank or use your mobile banking app to suspend your card. Standard Bank’s lost or stolen helpline is available at 0800 260 600. Visa’s 24/7 helpline is available at 0800 990475.

What to do in an emergency in South Africa

When you call South African emergency services, you should follow these tips:

  • State your name, telephone number, location where help is necessary, the situation and if it’s still happening, how many people require help, and whether there are weapons or dangerous substances involved.
  • Don’t forget the code to your parking lot or apartment building.
  • Never hang up until you are invited to do so.
  • If you have existing medical problems or regularly take prescription drugs, make sure you know their names and tell the operator.
  • If you have children, be prepared to cite their ages and how much they weigh (in kilograms) in case you need to call an anti-poison center or to administer medication.
  • In a situation where you’re dealing with intoxications, make sure to inform them of what was taken and also, if possible, give them the rest of what was consumed.

Other useful phone numbers in South Africa

  • Presidential hotline: hotline to complain about services from a government department or body. Call 17737.
  • Land Rights helpline: 0800 007 095

Useful resources