Helplines South Africa


Alcoholics Anonymous South Africa

Worldwide fellowship for alcoholics supporting those choosing to be sober. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

National helpline: 0861 HELPAA (435 722)

See the AA website for a directory of provincial contact numbers and local “meeting rooms”.


Al-Anon Family Groups is for the families and friends of problem drinkers, with a special section – Alateen – for children of alchoholics, and a group for adult children of alcoholics.

Helpline: 0861 ALANON (25 26 66)

Main office: (021) 595-4508



Narcotics Anonymous SA

NA is a non-profit organisation for recovering drug addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.

National 24-hour helpline: 083 900 MY NA (083 900 69 62)


SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Sanca provides specialised and affordable prevention and treatment services for alcohol and other drug dependence. A national body established in 1956, it has independently operated societies and counselling centres in all nine provinces.

Sanca – Johannesburg: 08611 REHAB (73422) or (011) 673-0400 or

Sanca – Western Cape: (021) 945 4080/1 or

Department of Social Development’s Substance Abuse Line Offers support, guidance and help for people addicted to drugs and alcohol as well as their families. Run in partnership with the SA Depression and Anxiety Group.

National toll-free helpline: 0800 12 13 14 or SMS 32312

Childline South Africa

Assistance from trained counsellors for abused children, young people, and their families. Not-for-profit organisation.

24-hour toll-free helpline: 08000 55 555

Information, support and assistance to children and their families. Issues dealt with include physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioural problems, legal advice and trafficking.

Child Welfare South Africa

The coordinating body for more than 260 affiliated child welfare societies, organisations and community outreach projects. It is the largest non-profit, non-governmental organisation in South Africa in the fields of child protection and child care and family development.

Report neglect or abuse of a child: 0861 4 CHILD (24453)

National: (011) 452-4110



Jo’burg Child Welfare Society

Services Johannesburg and the broader community. Offers services to abandoned, abused and neglected children. Also facilitates adoption and foster care, as well as parenting workshops and training services.

Head office: (011) 298-8500


Police Child Protection Units

The South African Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit Special police units investigate violent crimes against children and offer specialised services to child victims of crime. There are units around the country.

Emergency number: 10111

Crime Stop: 08600 10111

Report cases of child abuse for police investigation:

Website: FCS Unit

Women in crisis

People Opposed to Woman Abuse (Powa)

Gauteng-based organisation offering shelter, counselling and legal support to women in abusive relationships, rape survivors, survivors of incest.

Helpline: 083 765 1235

Stop Gender Abuse

Crisis counselling for women who have been raped or abused, advice and support for people wanting to support women in need of help, legal and other options available for abused women and rape survivors. Run by LifeLine Southern Africa.

Toll-free helpline: 0800 150 150

Rape Crisis

Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust works to prevent rape, offers healing to survivors, and works towards legal reforms that will ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. Services include counselling, court preparation, support groups, important contact numbers. Non-governmental organisation.

Counselling lines:

  • 021 447-9762 (Observatory)
  • 021 633 9229 (Athlone)
  • 021 361 9085 (Khayalitsha)