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There’s more to this than meets the eye

‘Resilient’ is a character trait regularly used to describe South Africans. 

The people of our nation are used to finding ways around the challenges of the everyday, whether relating to a lack of service delivery, crumbling infrastructure, crime, personal hardship, and more.  

Likewise, many of us are acutely aware that it is not only resilience but action that will result in an improvement in our country, and it is for this reason that a multitude of private businesses, communities, entrepreneurs and individuals have invested in realistic and actionable solutions. 

The partnerships between large-scale private enterprises and government, have for the past year, slowly started to yield results in affecting positive change, particularly across energy, logistics, crime and corruption. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Smaller businesses, community groups, media and local personalities have demonstrated a vested interest in driving the narrative, and therefore change. 

Various brands of pothole patrols have taken tarring into their own hands, communities have embarked on clean-up and security missions, and bridges and gardens are being built with funds raised via public initiatives. Local doctors are opening their doors to patients unable to pay for care, food, blanket and education drives are growing, and optimistic South African mavens – not ready to give up – share their voice over a multitude of channels, spurring on the movement and redirecting pessimism into positivity. 

When it comes to crime, Police Minister Bheki Cele recently commented that a mere 41.31% of SAPS emergency call center positions are filled, that there are ongoing system failures, and that centres in regions across provinces are under-resourced. This is in spite of the fact that crime in our country remains an ongoing and lethally neglected issue.  

However, the statistics also reveal that the crimes that are detected and intercepted have increased, and that the police force is more efficient and active than in previous years. 

Bridging this communication gap in the interests of safety is the reason why the proudly local, tech-startup, Namola was launched in 2016. What started out as a gov-tech partnership to enable a faster and more efficient response service between the SAPS and the Tshwane community, has grown into a smartphone safety app that continues to deliver on its mission of prioritsing the safety and well-being of all SA citizens.  

Actively used by more than half a million South Africans, Namola offers access to the largest network of both public, private and neighbourhood emergency responders, smart alerts, state-of-the-art location-sharing technology, as well as ‘Namola communities’ for collective safety and support.

While there is a paid-for version in NamolaPlus, there is also a free version, and there will always be a free version, as Namola’s commitment is to offer the opportunity to live safely and freely to all. 

“We’re not just another app,” says Peter Adolphs, CEO of Namola. “We’re not trying to capitalise on government failings, but rather provide a real and meaningful solution to fill the gaps. Namola provides proactive safety features that enable people to feel and be safer, in addition to providing everyone access with the help and care that they need, when they need it” 

In a recent drive to build awareness of the brand, in a way that would resonate with Saffers who love a bit of humour and intrigue, Namola strategically stationed Don’t Panic messages in key areas across the country.  

In addition to street pole posters and stickers handed out at high-traffic intersections, socials were set ablaze with giant banners descending on Nelson Mandela Bridge and down the side of a similarly iconic building in Cape TownDon’t Panic lettering, Hollywood style, was placed on Table Mountain, Don’t Panic banners took pride of place on various websites, newspapers and community groups, and The Good Things Guy dropped hints and sparked conversation on his platforms. 

With panic being something familiar to most of us, people responded to this public-service-announcement-like initiative perfectly. Aliens, artificial intelligence, political parties, loadshedding and telcos were cited as some of the associations behind it, and a recurring question was ‘What we should not be panicking about?’  

But if you strip away the clever marketing tactics and quirky comments from this campaign and broaden your view of the sentiment of the people, you’re left with the notion of citizens, brands and businesses that actually want to impact the narrative of our country for the better. 

Whether through public-private partnerships or individual initiatives, the thing is to not panic, and rather, to do something. There is no use being swept up by the melancholy. South Africa is too big and too beautiful for that. 

So go out there, do the things, make a change and most importantly Don’t Panic. DM

By Natasha Marot: A wildly optimistic South African, and the PR and Comms lead for Namola PR Director at Grid Worldwide

About Namola

Namola is one of SA’s leading safety Apps.

What began as a humble gov-tech project in 2016 is now wholly owned by the MultiChoice Group. Initially developed by a small, local team committed to providing a tech-driven solution to enable a faster and more efficient response service between the SAPS and the Tshwane community, Namola now offers access to the largest network of both public and private emergency responders, and state-of-the-art location-sharing technology.

Since its inception, Namola has been used by more than half a million SA citizens, delivering on its mission to prioritise the safety and well-being of all South Africans, by creating a platform that gets you the help you need, wherever and whenever you need it.

For R59 a month (and R29 a month if you are a DStv subscriber), users of NamolaPlus have access to the nearest private armed-response teams and private medical emergency services dispatched to the user location. As a proudly South African safety App, three pivotal features include: the SOS button, location sharing and smart alerts, and ‘Namola communities’ for collective safety and support.

In an ongoing commitment to safety for all South Africans, a free version, which dispatches government services, is also available.

Don’t Panic. It’s easier than 9-1-1.
Download Namola here



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  • William Dryden says:

    The more the public and private sectors go out to fix problems, the more the ANC government will sit back and let it happen, saves them having to make the effort to fix things. Their motto is why fix it when someone else will do it for us.

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