South Africans should note that while the country will be under a 21-day lockdown, essential and emergency services are still accessible. Aside from the healthcare hotlines set up by government to deal with any coronavirus-related queries, there are several others dedicated to other issues that may arise.

According to Minister of Police Bheki Cele, there may be a rise in the incidences of gender-based violence during the lockdown. As a result of this prediction, the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit has been ‘beefed up’ to offer assistance.

SAPS’ official number will continue to be operational, and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be supporting them during this time. Contraventions of the lockdown can be reported to the number, which is 10111.

Government has also said it expects a huge influx of calls over the next three weeks, so it asks South Africans to be patient during this time.

Electricity supply, water and sanitation are also considered essential services, so your local plumber and electrician should be able to see to any emergencies that happen during the lockdown, provided the normal restrictions, such as no contact and maintaining a safe distance, are adhered to.

Other emergency numbers – such as the ones for fire fighting and ambulances (10177) –  also still apply.

Coronavirus hotlines

– Covid-19 National Hotline: 0800 029 999

– WhatsApp updates: 0600 123 456

–  Mediclinic Covid-19 Hotline: 0860 240 024

–  Western Covid-19 Cape hotline: 021 928 4102

Violence against women and children

– GBV command centre:  0800 428 428 or *120*7867# (free)

– Urgent victim response line: 0800 150 150

Reporting crime

– SAPS: 08600 10111

Reporting police

– Western Cape: 073 890 1269

Small and medium businesses

– SMME distress line: 0860 663 7867

Or email: [email protected]

Pricing abuse

– DTI hotline: 0800 141 880

Government departments

– Department of Home Affairs: 0800 601 190

– Department of Water and Sanitation: 0800 200 200

– Department of Tourism: 0860 868 747

– Presidential hotline: 17737


SARS will have staff available at the SARS Contact Centre and you can contact them on 0800 00 7277

The following services are available at the SARS Contact Centre:

Enquiry about on debt outstanding

Enquiry about on returns outstanding

Tax Compliance Status

Filing your Tax Returns

Request Statement of Account

How to Submit supporting documents for an audit case

Lodge a complaint

Username Retrieval and Password Reset

Request for advice

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.