By just pressing a button, UCT students in trouble can get quick assistance - free of charge.
This year will see Student Buddy, powered by a company called eblockwatch in conjunction with the Campus Protection Society of South Africa, being tried and tested at UCT.
Student Buddy allows students who find themselves in any trouble anywhere in the country, to simply press an emergency button on their cellphones. That triggers a ripple effect within seconds as emergency calls out to UCT's Campus Protection Service, family, friends and, if need be, to the closest eblockwatch members.
The student button is connected to eblockwatch, which connects their cellphone to a national grid of community security networks. There are 56 000 South Africans registered to eblockwatch "and collectively we look after each other," says Andre Snyman, founder of eblockwatch. "This means that collectively we can call on fellow South Africans to assist UCT students just about anywhere in the country at the touch of a button."
John Tunstall, risk services manager at UCT, said armed response companies have also agreed to assist and the importance of the initiative is that it provides reassurance.
"It gives parents a lot of confidence about the safety of students on campus," he said, encouraging students to register.
A number of students have already joined. Those interested can sms UCT to 33930 and follow sms prompts. Cost of SMS R3.
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