Survivor 2019 winner Rob Bentele develops anti-GBV app

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Survivor winner Rob Bentele has developed a new mobile app.
Survivor winner Rob Bentele has developed a new mobile app.
PHOTO: SUPPLIED

He's quite a familiar face. South Africans were first introduced to him when he entered and won Survivor 2019. 

Now he wants to help victims and survivors of a different kind. 

Rob Bentele has developed a mobile app that is set to help fight gender-based violence. As the country commemorates the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence, Rob tells Drum he felt compelled to develop the app as a way of showing gratitude for the support he received when he was on Survivor.

It was also because someone close to him was a victim of GBV.

The app is free and does not require one to have data bundles in order to use it, he says.

“Users will only need data if they want to get the full package, which will involve private security coming to the user in distress. It was very important not to exclude any group of the population because we cannot say without data we will let you die. To activate the full package it is R60 per person, per month.

“GBV is a big problem in our country, and this is a way of trying to help get help for victims and get the perpetrators behind bars where they belong because the authorities will be in possession of the evidence.”

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The app can be used in different levels, depending on the amount of danger one may be in.

If everything is fine, then the app will be green. The following colours show danger and the action that the victim can take:

Amber: This can be activated by shaking the cellphone. It then records audio and sends it to a remote cloud;

Red: You can press a button and the takes a video that will also be saved on a cloud, it shares your location to five contacts who are preassigned guardians and

Blue: The recording of the audio and video continue and private security guards are dispatched to your location with a response time of five to eight minutes in urban areas.

Rob says there is also a check-in feature where you can set if for the app to check-in on you at regular intervals. If you do not check in, it alerts your guardians and gives them time to contact you. If you do not respond still, it automatically sends your location to your guardians.

“There is also a deadman trigger which you can switch on maybe when you are walking to your car. You keep your finger on your phone and once you lift your finger from the phone it counts you down to deactivate or private security is dispatched.

“There is also a panic button that has a battery life of two to three years, you can also keep it anywhere on your person and it will be inconspicuous."

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Rob’s app has also been endorsed by Zulu King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini.

“His Majesty is very optimistic about Eyerus being the game-changer in this fight.”

Rob says he is honoured by the King’s endorsement. He is born to a Zulu mother and Austrian father.

“As a Zulu man, I know how important it is to get blessings from inkosi.”

It will be launched on 2 December and South Africans can download the app from early February.

“It is ready now, but it is undergoing rigorous testing and there are hackers working around the clock to hack so that we can ensure it is impenetrable.”

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