A man for an emergency

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: Tumelo Pabalinga

We start the year by featuring Tumelo Pabalinga, the Executive Director of Emergency Assist 991 – previously known as Netcare 991.

The Sebina native co-founded the company in 2002.

Almost two decades later, Emergency Assist 991 has grown exponentially, boasting a staff complement of 120, which includes doctors, paramedics, nurses and technicians.

You didn’t work long after graduation, what was the motivation behind establishing Netcare 991, as your company was known back then?

Funny enough circumstances pushed me into establishing Netcare 991 after the company that I worked for went into liquidation – but I guess everything happens for a reason!

How would you describe the enterprises’ journey?

It was not easy in the early years, more so that we were a start-up company.

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Businesses go through cycles, which I would advise any promoter to be prepared for and which might require some patience.

What services does Emergency Assist 991 offer?

We offer: emergency medical assistance, roadside assistance, occupational health services, call centre assistance services, driver training and first aid training.

What would you highlight as the company’s major achievements?

The impact we make in the lives of clients and members of the public through the services that we provide and most importantly the impact we make on the lives of our committed staff through employment creation.

We employ about 120 skilled staff members, most of whom have been with the company for a good number of years.

How about the lowlights?

The lowest point was during the early years of the company.

In 2004 I think it was, when I had to see our valuable staff reluctantly leaving the company because the business could not meet their needs.

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You recently launched your EA 991 Driving Academy, can your briefly touch on the project?

As advocates of road safety we realised that road accidents could also be addressed through change in driver behavior and through our driver academy we can influence that with commercial benefit as well.

We have a very well resourced, modern driver training institute that has proper air-conditioned lecture rooms, converted leaner vehicles and BQA accredited trainers.

We have invested on a driver training CRM that provides for re-learning and registration.

What other new projects can your customers look forward to?

Our focus is more on improving our customer offering to ensure our products remain relevant in the day-to-day lives of our customers.

On a personal note, what keeps you busy away from the office?

I like to spend time and travel with my family on weekends and school holidays.

Golf and Gym also occupy my time during the week.

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