Dr Desmond Kegakilwe – Chairperson 

Dr Desmond Kegakilwe is the Chairperson of the RHAP. Born and bred in the rural village of Tlakgameng, in the far west of North-West Province, and where he works as a rural doctor today, Dr Kegakilwe’s commitment to rural health is unwavering. Dr Kegakilwe was trained as a medical doctor in Cuba, and graduated in 2004 in South Africa not only with a medical degree but also with a strong sense to serve the underprivileged. Dr Kegakilwe is also RuDASA Chairperson. In 2012 he was one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans. Find out more about Desmond in this RuDASA interview.


Prof Ian Couper – Chairperson Executive Committee 

Prof Ian Couper chaired RHAP’s Steering Committee from 2009 to June 2015, when the governance structure changed to a formal Board. He is now heading up the Executive Committee that reports into the Board. Prof Couper is Professor of Rural Health at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg. He is director of the Wits Centre for Rural Health, which was launched in 2009, with a focus on human resources for rural health. A family physician by training, his areas of expertise are in health service development, undergraduate and postgraduate education, research and advocacy. Prof Couper is the editor of the African section of the international journal Rural and Remote Health. In January 2014 he received the Special Award for Outstanding Health Professional Educators at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2014 “Transformative Learning for Health Equity”, in Thailand.


Prof Steve Reid (ExCo Member and Board Treasurer)

Prof Steve Reid is the Chair of the Primary Health Care Directorate at the University of Cape Town. A Family Physician by training, Prof Reid’s passion and commitment for rural health dates back from the eighties where he worked at Bethesda Hospital as a conscientious objector to military service. He presided over the transition from the Centre for Health and Social Studies (CHESS) at the University of Natal to the UKZN Centre for Rural Health. Prof Reid has published extensively on the issue of compulsory community service, and is currently involved in numerous research projects in the field of rural health, including medical education, human resources for health, and Community-Oriented Primary Care.


Prof Haroon Salojee (ExCo Member)

Haroon Saloojee is a full professor and head of the Division of Community Paediatrics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and a principal specialist at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.

He has a range of research and academic interests including childhood malnutrition, neonatal care, medical education and health system organisation.

He is a past president of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa, and a member of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Senate. He is an executive member of the South African Paediatric Association and the South African Child Health Priorities Association. He also is a member of the University of the Witwatersrand Senate. He is a member of the Boards of the Soul City Institute and the Starfish Foundation. He is an executive member of the Global Paediatric Education Consortium.

He serves on ministerial committees on child mortality and morbidity, and immunisation. He has offered technical support to various World Health Organisation technical committees.

Sandy Naidoo (ExCo Member)

Sandy is the General Manager of Grants at Wits Health Consortium and an Ex-officio member on the RHAP Board.


Nkhensani Mavasa

Nkhensani Mavasa  is the national Chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and has been a volunteer for 13 years and a TAC board member. She is from Thomo village in Limpopo and also a provincial secretary for Basic Education For All.

She is  a former Treatment Literacy Practitioner, National Treatment Literacy Trainer,SADC Treatment Literacy Coordinator, Provincial women’s rights coordinator and District Community Health Coordinator.


Mark Heywood

Mark is the Executive Director of SECTION27 (which incorporated the AIDS Law Project in 2010). He joined the AIDS Law Project (ALP) in 1994 and in 1998 he was one of the founders of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). He has continued to serve on the TAC Secretariat, National Council and Board of Directors. Mark was elected as the deputy chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) in 2007 and remained in the role for five years before standing down in 2012. In 2009, he was appointed as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on National Health Insurance. Mark has also written extensively on HIV, human rights and the law and has been part of the legal teams of the ALP, TAC and SECTION27 that have been involved in major litigation around HIV and other human rights issues in South Africa.


Erika Bostok

Based at Witbank Hospital, Mpumalanga, Erika Bostok is a Speech Therapist and Audiologist by training and a founding member of Rural Rehab South Africa. She is the Vice-chairperson of the National Speech Therapy and Audiology Forum, the Acting Nkangala District Rehabilitation Coordinator from April 2009 to date and one of the RuRESA representatives on the National NDoH Rehab Task Team.


Dr. Ziyanda Vundle

Dr Ziyanda Vundle has a medical degree and is a Public Health Medicine specialist.  She hails from the Eastern Cape, the most rural province in South Africa. Although she did not train within the province, she has always been in touch with the province. This is demonstrated by her practising medicine within the province and her return to use her expertise in Public health Medicine and contribute to the improvement of population health in the Eastern Cape. Dr Vundle has a personal insight onto challenges faced by populations that live in rural areas.

Dr Vundle is currently employed by the Walter Sisulu University as the Head of the Department of Public Health. Significant impact on change can be sought through various approaches: Political systems, civil organisations, philanthropy, and scientific research and implementation, amongst others. She chose to use the academic approach to influence the most significant impact in addressing the social and health challenges.

Dr Vundle sits in a few board and executive committees to highlight the plight of the rural and underserved populations. Her capacity as a board member of the RHAP is to be a representative of PHASA.”



Prof Lionel Green-Thompson

Assistant Dean: Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand


Sasha Stevenson

Sasha Stevenson is an attorney at SECTION27. She works primarily on the right of access to health care services and on the right to food and basic nutrition.

Sasha’s work takes her between government department boardrooms and remote villages in the Eastern Cape, the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. SECTION27’s use of the law to catalyse social change means that, far from maintaining a traditional legal practice, Sasha is just as likely to be found speaking about rights to nurses and patients in a remote rural clinic as doing policy research or drafting court papers.

Prior to joining SECTION27, Sasha worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, before going on to complete an LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Cambridge. In 2009 she worked as a clerk for the late former Chief Justice Pius Langa.


Ntombiyenkosi Nkosi

Ntombiyenkosi Nkosi is a National Citizen Voice and Action Coordinator for World Vision. South Africa. Her role is to promote civic education and civic engagement to ensure human rights are upheld to benefit all. She serves as a link between communities and duty bearers that leads to community policy dialogues for improved service delivery.

Ntombiyenkosi is passionate about community capacity enhancement hence she supported rural communities register their organisations as legal entities and to source funding for project financing. One of the projects is Mfelandawonye which’s main objective was to build capacity of its members both technically and organisationally, who became agents of transformation. With project management expertise and experience she designed and managed various projects in the field of sponsorship and advocacy that made communities realize significant role to participate in governance matters.

She graduated with a Social Science Degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal. She accumulated knowledge and skills through courses like Human Resources, Democracy & Participation and Project Management.


Dr Bernhard Gaede

Dr Bernhard Gaede is Head of Family Medicine at the University of Kwazulu Natal. He was previously the Director of the UKZN Centre for Rural Health (CRH) and worked for many years at Emmaus Hospital, in the Drakensberge, as Hospital Manager, Medical Manager as well as Medical Officer at different stages. He has been extensively involved with rural health advocacy through the Rural Doctors’ Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) as well as the Rural Health Advocacy Project.


Nhlanhla Ndlovu

Executive Director, CEGAA


Daniella Goeieman

Daniella Goeieman is a National Committee Member for  Professional Association of Clinical Associates in South Africa (PACASA). She graduated with a BCMP degree from Wits in 2013 and is currently practicing as a Clinical Associate at Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging.

She joined PACASA’s management committee in 2015 to assist with developing the associations strategic objectives and strengthen the profession and organisations identity.

She has a passion for rural health stems from experiences from medical school and a personal attachment with relatives/friends that are living in rural areas.


Dr. Guin Lourens

Manager Clinical Training Platform, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, RuNURSA Committee Member.


Dr Daphney Nozizwe Conco

Dr Daphney Nozizwe Conco acquired her basic nursing degree from the University of Zululand after which she obtained various other qualifications, including a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, London South Bank University. She has extensive research, training, management, monitoring and evaluation work experience in the fields of Public Health, Health Systems, Women’s Health, Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive health and has published widely. She currently holds a managerial position in the Professional Institute of the Democratic Nursing Organization of South Africa (DENOSA).



Marije Versteeg- Mojanaga (ex-officio)

As the Director of the RHAP, Marije is an ex-officio member of the RHAP Board. See the staff page for more information