The 107 emergency number, which is an essential emergency service provided by the West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) in accordance with its disaster management mandate, has been in a chaotic state for several months.
According to DA councillor Jean Kotze, calls for assistance to 107 have not been answered or have been interrupted or dropped, and some have even been diverted to emergency centres in Cape Town, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
“107 is the first port of call for citizens requiring emergency assistance. Those calling 107 are desperate, vulnerable and in need of help. Unanswered 107 calls have serious consequences,” stated Kotze. “They can even lead to the loss of life!”
Numerous complaints have been received from residents, councillors and organisations during the past seven months about the dysfunctional 107 emergency service.
During the WRDM Council meeting in December 2017, Kotze pleaded with Mayor Maneli to ensure that the 107 Emergency Call Centre would be run efficiently during the holiday season.
“At the time he assured me that he would personally see to the problem but the promise turned out to be pie in the sky.”
Until last week, the critical 107 emergency number still proved to be a real thorn in the flesh, with an interrupted service for long periods of time.
“I have now discovered that the service provider had not been paid for several months, thus resulting in the suspension of a service which is crucial to our community. I am told that they have signed a new contract and that the service should be running smoothly. Time will tell whether the service has improved. Residents have found the poor service from 107 staggering. I agree that the situation is untenable and that regular political oversight must be conducted.
“The community feels that the staff should be properly trained and undergo regular refresher courses. They should be made aware of the importance of the service, that service delivery starts with them and strict discipline should apply at all times.
“The financially strapped WRDM faces a huge challenge in consistently providing a functioning emergency service to the residents of the West Rand and, in particular, Mogale City.”
Kotze, who represents the DA in the district, will only be satisfied when 107 is functioning correctly.
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