There are 1 116 police stations listed on the South African Police Services website. For each police station listed there is a telephone number. But do they work?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) decided to phone each police station to find out and the shocking result is that 35% of all calls placed (388/1 116) went either answered or to a wrong number.

In other words, if you want to phone a South African police station, there is more than a 1 in 3 chance your call will not be answered.

The result of the survey is deeply disturbing and goes straight to the heart of the nature of customer service, as provided by the government in general and the SAPS in particular. It is dire. There are two sets of numbers it can be argued South African citizens rely on, often as a matter of life and death, for quick and immediate response: those for public hospitals and police stations.

That more than 1 out of 3 police stations cannot be immediately reached is cause for serious concern and should be investigated by the minister of police as a matter of urgency.

For Jeffreys Bay residents, it will be pleasing to know that our police station did indeed answer the phone, although we have experienced problems in getting through to the charge office in the past.

To view the full survey, click here

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