Note to editors: Please finds a linked soundbite in English by Andrew Whitfield, MP.
Across South Africa 10111 call centres are in a state of crisis with little more than 40% of the ideal number of staff employed and more than seven million calls being dropped.
These shocking statistics – based on feedback for the financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22 and since 1 April 2022 till present – were revealed by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, in response to a parliamentary question.
During this period only 4 061 of the ideal number of 10 032 staff members were employed at 10111 centres across South Africa’s nine provinces. This represents just 40.48% of the required staff.
In 2020/21 only 41.63% of available post were filled, followed by 41,5% in 2021/22 and 39.33% since 1 April 2022.
The 10111 number is for any emergency that requires a police response, but more than 7 million calls being dropped highlights that understaffed call centres are not even able to answer calls from South Africans under threat of violence by criminals.
These statistics do not provide the full picture of the inability of centres to assist callers, as three provinces (Free State, Limpopo and Northern Cape) were unable to provide any feedback over the time period requested.
Dropped call statistics over the past three financial years:
Eastern Cape: 271 746
Gauteng: 3.83 million
KwaZulu-Natal: 632 642
Mpumalanga: 1.44 million
North West: 30 181
Western Cape: 895 280
I will be writing to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on police to request that the national police commissioner prepare a comprehensive turnaround plan for 10111 centres across the country within 30 days to be tabled in Parliament when it reconvenes.
The 10111 number is the only line of defence some of our people have as they struggle against the unrelenting tide of crime sweeping across South Africa.
We cannot allow South Africans to be abandoned and become even more defenceless due to the inability of the police to respond to emergencies.