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Short Code 111 Established For COVID-19 National Emergency Services

April 16, 2020

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published Notice 244 in Government Gazette 43229 to harmonise and mandate the short code 111 in terms of the Numbering Plan Regulations.

The COVID-19 national emergency services accessed either by call or SMS shall incur no charges to the caller or sender and shall be subject to the toll-free framework.

The 111 service code is mandated for COVID-19 national emergency services during the National State of Disaster. The service code 111 will cease to be harmonised and mandated within three months after the termination of the National State of Disaster. 

Short Code 116 Established For Child Helpline Services

ICASA has published the Numbering Plan Amendment Regulations in Notice 245 in Gazette 43230.

At a 2004 Communication Regulator of Southern Africa (CRSA) meeting, it was decided that the member states will harmonise and reserve the three digit code 116 for the provision of child helpline services.

Over 14 countries in Africa have harmonised the the use of the code 116. This brings the idea of a regionally harmonised code.

The Regulations will come into force three months after the date of publication of the Notice.