Healthcare Basics

Emergency phone numbers in South Africa

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.

First responders with high visibility vests and helmets at an accident scene responding to an emergency

By Stephen Maunder

Updated 16-1-2024

If you have a life-threatening crisis, you can call the main emergency phone number 112. If your situation is a little less dire, there are a wide range of other numbers and useful helplines that offer support.

Here’s who to call in South Africa:

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:

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:

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
  • 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
  • Mental Health Information Line: 0800 567 567
  • Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837

Drug and alcohol services in South Africa

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
  • 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
  • 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.

Car crash in Cape Town, South Africa

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 and location, as well as 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.
  • Gender Dynamix: trans community organization.
  • Iranti-org: rights organization for lesbian, transgender, and intersex people in South Africa.
  • LGBT+ Forum: umbrella organization for LGBT+ employee network groups.
  • OUT: organization providing healthcare as well as mental healthcare services for LGBT people.

Homelessness services in South Africa

  • U-Turn: charity providing skills and learning for homeless people. Call 021 674 6119.
  • Haven: charity providing night shelters for homeless people in South Africa. Call 021 425 4700.

Animal services in South Africa

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

Embassies and services for foreign nationals in South Africa

South Africa’s government is distributed across the country, as are foreign missions based within the country. Embassies, which manage the relationship between countries, are all located close to the executive branch in Pretoria; consulates, on the other hand, are in other major cities, providing consular assistance. EmbassyPages has a complete list of embassies and consulates in South Africa.

Brazilian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa

A few of the most relevant embassies for tourists and foreign residents in South Africa include the following:

  • Botswana: The High Commission of Botswana in Pretoria is located at 24 Amos Street, Colbyn. Their phone number is +27 12 430 9640. Botswana also has a Consulate in Johannesburg.
  • eSwatini: The High Commission of eSwatini in Pretoria is located at 715 Government Avenue, Arcadia. Their phone number is +27 12 344 1910. eSwatini also has a Consulate in Johannesburg.
  • Lesotho: The High Commission of Lesotho in Pretoria is located at 391 Anderson Street, Menlo Park. Their phone number is +27 12 460 7648. Lesotho also maintains Consulates in Durban, Johannesburg, Klerksdorp, and Welkom.
  • Mozambique: The High Commission of Mozambique in Pretoria is located at 529 Edmond Street, Arcadia. Their phone number is +27 12 401 0300. Mozambique also operates Consulates in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Nelspruit.
  • Zimbabwe: The Embassy of Zimbabwe in Pretoria is located at 798 Merton Avenue, Eastwood. Their phone number is +27 12 342 5125. Zimbabwe also has Consulates in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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: contact the NSPCA for assistance.
  • 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