The Fire Services telephone number at the Mbabane Headquarters has not been changed since 1978, 42 years later, when the station was built. The notice board at the entrance of the headquarters bears a five (5) digit number, reading 44333.
“The number should have been upgraded to read 2404-44333, which is the existing line that gives access to the station,” said an officer attached to the headquarters, adding that such displays the inefficiency of the management which should have long seen to it that the number was improved to avoid confusing the public,” said an officer within the station. He made an example of a friend of his who had come from the Republic of South Africa and began to enquire of the few digits and wondered if they worked.
Drawn to comment on the error, the service’s communications officer, Herbert Shabangu, said the number was one of the toll free numbers that gives access to the station, but when this reporter called it (number), a reply to the effect that ‘THE NUMBER YOU ARE CALLING DOES NOT EXIST’, proceeded from the other end. Shabangu then changed tone and said the number would be changed as soon as possible.
The service’s toll free number is 933. The country’s toll free and emergency numbers all come with three (3) digits.
The communications officer admitted that there were many other loopholes that needed straightening at all the various stations in the country and begged for patience and time for the management to shape up.
Some of the country’s toll free and emergency number are:
Police – 999
Health Care – 977
NDMA – 112