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The Problem

Every six hours a child goes missing in South Africa. Alarmingly South Africa is rated 5th on the global human trafficking scale. In South Africa we are confronted with major obstacles in this regard. In 2000 the SAPS closed majority of their specialized units including the child protection (which is currently being reopened) and Sexual Assault Units, minimizing the effectiveness of search and rescue operations of this nature.

The Solution

“PSARU” – People Search and Rescue Unit has launched a dedicated 24/7 helpline aimed at providing a specialized immediate response service to assist in finding missing persons in South Africa. The launch of the PSARU Alert 24/7 helpline is intended to better needs of South Africans who are increasingly exposed to risk of experiencing events of this nature. We have recovered over 70 missing persons in just eight months’ time.

Statistically the first 2 to 3 hours are crucial for the safe return of a missing or abducted person, but it can take more than 2 hours to gather information from a panicking parent or family member. Registering a child on the PSARU website will ensure quick and easy access in the event of a child disappearing and save crucial time.


  • We create awareness by distributing pamphlets and utilizing the social media networks and various media sources.
  • We recover missing persons at no cost to the family
  • We have an investigation team that can assist if needed
  • We offer free telephonic access to registered trauma counsellors
  • We offer assistance on a national basis to all south Africans who need our help and support
  • We aim to find every missing person within a reasonable time frame with minimal trauma to the individual and the family
  • We have ‘’safe’’ houses nationally to assist traumatized individuals and assist in the recovery process
  • We create awareness in schools, universities, media and general public
  • We identify and approach business partners who want to contribute towards making a difference in the lives of normal South Africans.

How does it Work

Once the call centre has been contacted and the member verified, a case is opened and an alert is broadcasted to instantly galvanize the entire PSARU network and partner organisations, to assist in the search and safe recovery of the missing person. The media is notified immediately and bulk notifications are sent out about the missing person. Our dedicated investigation team is instantly dispatched and feedback is given to the family on a daily basis.

Access based product versions

  • Assist with trauma support
  • Individual tracking (once our app is completed and installed on the member’s mobile device)

Service level commitment

Service availability – coverage parameter’s specific to the service(s) covered in the agreement are as follows:

  • Call centre : 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • All calls are answered in less than 20 seconds
  • All calls are recorded
  • Dispatch of a national investigation team within 1-3 hours of the incident being reported
  • Missing persons information captured on the PSARU database
  • Monitored cases with daily feedback