The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Command Centre was conceptualised, developed and implemented as an initiative of the Department of Social Development, in collaboration with the Vodacom Foundation.
The GBV Command Centre provides immediate care and counselling and offers help, hope, and the chance of a better life to the thousands of victims of gender-based abuse, even in the remotest and most underdeveloped corners of South Africa.
The GBV Command Centre is a comprehensive, integrated system that provides immediate, consistent, coordinated, and timely support to victims of GBV. The GBV Command Centre uses mobile technology to estimate the location of a victim, assign the closest social worker in the field to the case, and record and receive continuous feedback on the case.
The GBV Command Centre employs trained social workers/command centre agents who provide immediate counselling to victims and assist them to avoid or minimise further exposure to GBV.
The GBV Command Centre uses three high-level components
When a victim calls the GBV Command Centre from a mobile phone, the caller (with explicit permission) is geographically located, enabling the GBV Command Centre to determine the caller’s closest resources (social worker, police station, hospital, or safe house). The GBV Command Centre records the particulars and assigns the closest field social worker to the case.
The GBV Mobile Information System accommodates in-the-field collection, integration, and workflow management with embedded administrative decision support, and reporting of the GBV data and information. Monitoring and evaluation is built into the Mobile Information System to provide a reporting dashboard to the Department of Social Development on the reported cases, the status of the cases, and how and when the victims have been and are being supported by the social services.
This innovative approach supports the conventional social services system, enhances the traditional counselling process of the Department of Social Development, and renders an immediate, expedient, and effective service to the victims of GBV.
Learners and their parents can find completing school (Grade 12) a daunting period, in particular when the matric results are being released.
Accordingly, on request of the Department of Basic Education and Social Development, Advance Call provides support to learners and parents through the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre.
Qualified social workers offer advice to learners on where to obtain their matric results and guidance on where to get information on their tertiary study opportunities.
Most important, we offer counselling to help learners and parents through this stressful time.
As expressed in the State of the Nation Address of February 2008, the South African Government had resolved to establish a national hotline to render a core service to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure the facilitation of overdue payments.
The strategic objective was to assist in bridging the gap between the first and second economies in South Africa by providing a high level of cash-flow security to SMMEs. In this manner, such enterprises could be afforded the opportunity to grow and develop their business. The service was intended to benefit all SMMEs in the country.
In rendering such service to SMMEs, Advance Call has liaised with 626 national and provincial government departments, local authorities, and public entities.
Advance Call was appointed to conceptualise, develop, implement, and host the SMME Payment Assistance Hotline. The multilingual hotline received calls via four conventional channels, namely, the telephone (office hours), fax, e-mail, and the internet (around-the-clock). In addition, we provided walk-in support.
All incoming calls were provided with unique reference numbers and were recorded for audit purposes in order to comply with the certified ISO 9001 Quality Management System. A comprehensive disaster recovery plan, which includes off-site, real-time data mirroring, is tested on a scheduled basis.
More than 28 000 requests for assistance were attended to and payments of more than R350 million were processed by the Hotline. President Zuma has alluded to the success of the Public Sector SMME Payment Assistance Hotline in his 2011 State of the Nation Address.
In terms of the Consumer Protection Act (Act No. 68 of 2008, as amended), disregard for the right of consumers to confidentiality, information, disclosure, fairness, transparency, choice, safety, and redress is punishable with a fine and/or imprisonment.
All suppliers of goods and services have to ensure that effective and efficient systems are in place to comply with, receive notice of, and respond to customers’ rights.
So much grief was expressed on the passing of former president Nelson Mandela on 5 December 2013 that the Department of Social Development proposed a national bereavement hotline to provide support to the nation for the duration of the national period of mourning.
The purpose of this hotline was to counsel citizens that were struggling to come to terms with the death of Madiba and to provide them with information relating to the state funeral.
Advance Call was tasked with setting up the hotline within a very short timeframe. Within 24 hours after the request had been received, the Nelson Mandela Bereavement Hotline for the Nation was operational, with a capacity to attend to 2 000 calls per day. Mourners could receive telephonic counselling or funeral information by contacting a dedicated share-call number or by using an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) number.
In addition, mourners could send messages of condolence by using a short code number. Hotline reports were generated and distributed on a daily basis to indicate the number of calls received, as well as other important call statistics.