What is HamNET?
HAMNET is the Specialist Emergency Communications division of the South African Radio League. HAMNET Gauteng is an emergency/disaster communications agency registered as a SARS section 18a Public Benefit Organization. We are a volunteer organisation making use of amateur radio and because we are not dependent on normal infrastructure we can provide communications/ICT when existing infrastructure fails during a disaster. We have the ability to provide low bit rate communications from all areas in South Africa. There are some areas where we have a bigger presence than others.
For over 70 years licensed radio operators have provided emergency and disaster communications, this includes wellness messages to loved ones but also handling sensitive and vital information for the management of said disasters.
We are also the designated communications provider for the ARCC (Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre established by the Department of Transport in terms of annex 12 of the ICAO Chicago Convention). HAMNET is a founding member of the Department of Transport’s search and rescue organization (SASAR), covering a huge area even into the SADC region.
Emergency/disaster communications has changed a lot from its inception and in today's connected world has to provide advanced communications, which are not cheap and are resource hungry. In some cases reliable primary communications must be provided when disasters strike.
How does HAMNET do all this?
HAMNET is a self funded organization consisting of only volunteers. HAMNET has access to huge amounts of radio spectrum, this makes it extremely versatile during natural or man made disasters.
Any donation or service whether it be monetary, equipment, services rendered or ﬂoor space to HAMNET can be offset via a section 18a tax certificate.