Our mission is to provide everyone in South Africa with the quickest, easiest way to access security and medical response in any emergency.
The facts only tell part of the story though. We feel that for most South Africans it's more about how we are all personally affected on a daily basis.
Safety in Remote Areas
It's the panic we felt one Sunday morning when my daughter-in-law went for a run at Silvermine, on Table Mountain. She loves it there - enjoys the solitude of the wide open spaces and just being out in nature. But she took longer than we had anticipated. As it got towards lunchtime and she wasn't back yet, we started to worry about what could have happened to her and, as you do, started to think the worst. An hour later she was back home, but by then we were honestly quite frantic, because we've all heard about random attacks on the mountain. Totally oblivious to our concern, she had stopped running to take in the beauty of her surroundings and to study the fynbos growing all around. But this gnawing fear made us realise that if anything had gone wrong, we had no idea of exactly where to find her on that vast mountain!
Safety on Campus
Shortly after that, my nephew's girlfriend shared her scary experience of being mugged on the campus of Stellenbosch University. Walking back to res after a night out in the town with a small group of friends, they noticed that they were being followed. As they crossed the road, the three guys behind them did the same and she realised that they were in danger. Knowing that she had pepper spray in her bag, she desperately fumbled around trying to find it. But even once she located it, to be able to use it effectively meant she'd have to wait until they were within touching distance and know for sure that they were indeed a real threat. While she was still deciding whether to spray them, one suddenly ran up behind her, put her in a chokehold and grabbed her bag. That's when everyone else started shouting and the perpetrators ran off with her belongings. She was shaken and safe - BUT this could have turned out to be so much worse!
It's these personal occurrences and the countless incidents we see reported every day on social media, where we know that a service like SAFER would have made all the difference. . . we all have stories we can relate to, making us constantly aware of potential risks and worries about how we'd get help if something went wrong - due to an accident or a crime.
South Africa faces unique challenges
Safety solutions that work in other parts of the world don't always work here (like being able to rely on an efficient police service, for instance) and this puts women in particular in vulnerable positions.
Added to this is the disturbing fact that only 3.4% of households in South Africa have access to private security companies who respond to their home alarms, which means that the vast majority of people simply don't have a reliable way to call for help in an emergency.
A solution for All South Africans
We needed to enable everyone to get access to a service which would provide them with the quickest, most reliable help possible, anywhere in the country - giving them back the control.
To be able to achieve this, we felt that there were 3 crucial components needed :
an app which is easy to use in any emergency
trusted security responders on stand-by throughout the country
to be affordable for everyone
Based on years of experience working closely in the development of personal safety apps, primarily for the security industry and corporates worldwide, we knew that we already had the proven, most effective way of raising an alert.
So the next step meant that it was an absolute necessity that we partnered with the largest network of private security ever created in South Africa, ensuring that anyone can have access to a reliable response service.