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05 September 2011

HAMNET BULLETIN: 5 September 2011

This bulletin was prepared and produced by Francois Botha – ZS6BUU


The Hamnet Bulletin is distributed once a month to all HAMNET members and is also available in text format as well as an audio clip on the SARL web site. News updates are read on the Amateur Radio Today Sunday transmissions and posted on the SARL web site. All Bulletin audio clips are also available as a Podcast. Follow the links on the SARL web site.

HAMNET is a voluntary group of amateurs who make their unique communication skills available to assist and help others in distress during and after disasters. HAMNET is represented on the sub-committee of the South African Search & Rescue Organisation. Training Modules are available either from your Provincial Director or from the National Director via e-mail and is also available on the SARL HAMNET Welcome CD.

HAMNET forms part of the Constitution of the South African Radio League which means that you have to be a member of the SARL to be a member of HAMNET. All information on SARL HAMNET is available on the web site of the SARL at Just follow the links!


The recent incident where two Aircraft went missing on a flight from Tzaneen to Rand Airport brought up some issues that affected Hamnet Gauteng South.

Although we are going to discuss the problems that affected this event, I personally feel, after a teleconference that took place on Monday the 29th of August, we all learnt from this experience.

The main problem was that Hamnet G.S. had a call out for assistance by Air Rescue Control Centre - ARCC. After doing all the preparation work they were then asked to step down. Immediately comments were made that we are no longer the organisation we are supposed to be and that we are just a nuisance factor.

Nothing can be further from the truth!

Hamnet issued a full statement surrounding the circumstances of this event and the disappointment felt by some was tangible and resulted in some rash and almost irresponsible comments being made by some members.

During the teleconference held on Monday evening, many issues were discussed and the conference lasted more than 2 hours. The minutes of the conference have been circulated among the attendees and once corrected will be published on the SARL HAMNET website.

There seems to have been a total misunderstanding as to the role the Provincial Directors can play in their respective rolls as leaders of a team. This was discussed fully and all P/D’s now understand that they have the total right, authority and command to act and use their authority to run a call-out at their discretion.

The National Director merely is the go-between reporting on the active rolls the Provincial Directors play and liaising this with the Council of the SARL.

Once all P/D’s have had the opportunity to discuss the meeting with their colleagues, some points raised will be taken further and feedback will be given to the various P/D’s over the next few months.

The issue of SARL and non-SARL members was again raised and if necessary, with more benefits becoming available to SARL members, the names of non-members will be removed from the database as this seems to be causing friction!

The role of multi-skilled operators was discussed. This is not a difficult point and P/D’s who decide if they wish to be first responders or wait until being called, is totally a decision made on a weigh and decide method!

Multi skilled operators should do a bit of soul searching and decide if Hamnet is the right organisation for them to belong to.

If they feel more at home with another volunteer group and can cope with the more demanding environment those organisations have to offer, the choice to change is entirely in their hands.

Hamnet, like all other groups comprise plain volunteers who offer their services free gratis and for the love of what they can achieve in helping their fellow man!

A good meeting and a lot was learnt by al concerned – including myself!


I have been supplied with quite a number of telephone and cell phone numbers for emergency purposes – especially in the Gauteng region!

The thought has now crossed my mind to create an emergency telephone directory and make this available to those who feel they can make use of it. This can be published on the Hamnet website or in Facebook or wherever it is in a downloadable form.

Other items being looked at is the re-introduction of the daily weather net as suggested by Pierre ZS1HF.

We need to establish a protocol for call up when there already exists a problem with both land line and cell phone numbers. This is a suggestion by Brian, ZS6YZ.

Expanding the bulk SMS call out system – a suggestion by Willie, ZS6BWT.


Hamnet emergency communication frequencies are:-
80m band – 3,760MHz, 40m band, 7,110MHz. The 20m band – 14,300MHz.

For more information on Hamnet, click on the following web address; also

For up to date weather and disaster information in South Africa please check the following web site. This is a unique website designed for South African weather and disaster conditions. Should you wish to update the website with local information on adverse weather conditions or other information, this is the SMS number to use. 076 251 3482 - Text Messages Only!!
Alternatively you can submit information via the following e-mail address;

Another web site which is updated every 15 minutes for weather information around South Africa is the Kobus Botha’s website at Also well worth a visit!

One other suggestion that was made is that we list at the end of every Bulletin, important telephone and cell phone numbers that you should have at your fingertips should you come across or be involved in handling traffic on air.

Should there be numbers you wish to add – even for your Province (we can break the listing into Provinces), please let me know so I can add them.
ER24 – 084 124
Werner Vermaak Direct ER24 real emergencies only 082 907.4557
JAMLINE - 084 5265463
CRIME LINE – 32211 alternatively 08600 10111. HAMNET actively supports the SAPS and CPF to fight crime!
N3 Toll Concession Help Line – 0800 N3 HELP or 080063 4357
Graham – Maritime Mobile Net 046 648-1071 (Maritime Emergency Only)
Sam Maree – Maritime Mobile Net 021 782-2840 (Maritime Emergency Only)
MRCC – 021 938-3300 (Only in dire Maritime emergencies)

Comments and suggestions to: or or at 011 679-5260 or 083 585-3847. Fax 086-580.6110.

Bulletin ends.