Communication station opened in PMB

2010-01-11 00:00

SHOULD Pietermaritzburg ever experience the calamity of communication blackout, citizens will not be stranded as the city has its own Emergency Communication Radio Station, located in the Ashburton area.

The amateur station belongs to the Servamus community policing forum founded by retired police officer Johann Langeveld, and has branches all over the country with at least 40 similar stations.

Langeveld said the station, which has been approved for broadcasting by the communication regulatory body Icasa, was founded to provide communication in the event of a communication blackout and to assist in disseminating important information urgently.

“It was intended to issue warnings on dangerous weather patterns and other potential disasters.”

He said that since it started it has been very useful in distributing information.

“There was recently a storm here in Ashburton which uprooted trees and threw them on the freeway, I had to go on radio and explain to the public what was happening and what they needed to watch out for.”

Langeveld said they also co-ordinated the assistance that was provided to the Bulwer community after it was devastated by the storm.

He said because of the good relationship he has with traffic officials, they have also taken up monitoring the freeway and provide up-to-date information about what is happening, especially if there has been an accident.

“Recently there was an accident on the freeway where a whole family was killed by a truck that ploughed into them. The Road Traffic Inspectorate officers contacted me and I contacted the SABC to inform the people about road closures, so they could use other routes.”

Langeveld said he hopes his station will also play a meaningful role in combating the scourge of crime in the country.

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