Three free apps to help you track your loved ones

Women and children are missing at an alarming rate in South Africa Photo credit:Rawpixel/123RF
Women and children are missing at an alarming rate in South Africa Photo credit:Rawpixel/123RF

The amount of women and children who go missing in South Africa is distressing. In 2017, 597 women were reported missing in Gauteng from January to October and only 151 of them were found. Police data shows that 996 children were reported missing in 2016.

In the wake of mounting incidents of people going missing and being in danger, we’ve researched three apps that help give peace of mind.


Often called “the Uber of emergencies”, this South African app lets you request emergency assistance using your phone’s GPS location. If you ask for help, the operators call you back to confirm the details and dispatch aid from nearby police stations, security services or other emergency officials.

You can add up to five people as emergency contacts who will be alerted if you request emergency services on the app. The contacts are also kept in the loop about your current location and can call the operators to find out the nature of the emergency.

Find my Friends

Find my Friends is a location-sharing app that lets you locate your loved ones. Each “friend” has their own personal icon on the app’s map, so you’ll know their location in real time. One of its features lets friends issue an alert to each other if they need help. Attached to the alert are details such as the person’s address, the time and their phone’s battery life.


Glympse lets you share your real-time location with family, friends and colleagues via an icon dropped on a map. You can set up groups for specific occasions, such as a social gathering or an important meeting, and request an update from anyone you might be concerned about. A bonus is that you can share your location via the web, rather than an app, while remaining invisible to strangers. 

All apps are available free on iOS and Android devices