What do you do when you see people suffering because of a lack of infrastructure? Do you shake your head in sorrow as you walk away and comfort yourself however you choose to or, do you brave the emotions and become a part of the solution? For Grey Design, a local advertising and design company, the answer was obviously the latter.
In South Africa’s dense, growing metropolitan areas, thousands of people do not have visible house numbers. This is not just an inconvenience, it’s a life and death situation as it means that emergency services cannot always reach people in time. Introducing Satellife: a simple, life-saving solution which employs the use of effective visual design to aid residents who encounter medical and other emergencies. Satellife employs the use of creatively designed, multi-coloured vinyls which are stuck onto satellite dishes and mounted onto houses, allowing paramedics and other emergency professionals to easily locate house numbers in the event of a crisis.
The project is a pilot project in which 10 houses were chosen and given clearly marked house numbers. If successful, Grey Design will approach local municipalities across the country with intent to roll-out Satellife nationally.
Activations company Loxyion Connexion is Grey Design’s Satellife partner. “We would never have been able to get the project off the ground if it wasn’t for Loxyion Connextion, as they have deep connections and relationships in Soweto. They approached all the homeowners on our behalf to get permission and buy-in,” said Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Design.
“The plight of these residents isn’t heard of in suburban South Africa so our mandate is two-fold: provide a solution to this very real problem as well as create awareness of this issue. Kliptown was specifically chosen as the houses are close together and it’s difficult to see the house numbers – which makes it perfect for what we want to do,” she said.
A local Kliptown resident told of how her daughter fell gravely ill in which sadly, ended in a fatal casualty due to an ambulance having taken over three hours to arrive. “I hope to see that other residents won’t have to face the heartache I live with every day because of this clever idea,” she said.
“It’s a great time to be working in emergency service assistance,” said Connor Hartnady, Emergency Care Practitioner and Lecturer at Department of Medical Care at the University of Johannesburg. “I’ve lost track of the incidents we’ve had to gravely deal with due to paramedics being unable to locate distressed houses. Satellife is going to help us save many lives,” he said.