Keynote Speakers

See our valuable guest speakers below

Mrs Matebele & Dr Ben Gaunt

Topic: Living the Dream with a TEAM

 Ben Gaunt is the Clinical Manager at Zithulele Hospital, a deeply rural district hospital in the Eastern Cape in a part of the country called the Wild Coast. He and his wife Taryn, who is also a doctor, have worked there since 2005 and been part of developing services from what can best be described as “rudimentary,” to the point where the hospital boasts a multi-disciplinary team of 40 clinical staff. In 2013, they were awarded Rudasa’s Rural Doctor of the Year as a couple. Ben trained at the University of Cape Town and did practical training at Ngwelezana Hospital in Empangeni. He has diplomas in obstetrics, anaesthetics and HIV and an MSc in primary health care from the University of London. A particular passion of his is developing high quality health services that are accessible to his rural community. He has four children, serves on the boards of two local NGOs and enjoys bird-watching.

Mrs Matebese is the CEO at Zithulele Hospital. She is a  hard worker, able to advise and motivate a team, and therefore she is a good manager and even a better leader! Mrs Matebese qualified as a nurse and gained further nursing qualifications in psychiatry, community health nursing, and a Degree in Nursing Administration & Nursing Education. She has worked in maternity, supervised clinics at Mdantsane, became the Nontyatyambo manager. Finally at Zithulele she worked firstly as the ARV Coordinator, then Nursing Service Manager, before acting up as CEO until being appointed as CEO in 2014.

Topic: Participation: Is it enough to be present?

 Shakila Dada (PhD) is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria. She is a speech-language pathologist and has many years’ experience in training and implementing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the South African context as well as postgraduate training in AAC implementation.

Her research and publications concern augmentative and alternative communication interventions with a particular focus on the role of graphic symbols in language learning and extending participation of persons with disabilities. Her broader focus lies with ensuring participation of persons who use AAC, and their families when providing interventions.




Professor Stephen James Heinrich Hendricks is Professor in Public Health Policy and Management Practice at School of Health Sciences and Public Health at University of Pretoria where he teaches Diploma,  MPH and serves as Promoter /Supervisor for several  PhD students and also serves as Examiner for Research Student Projects. He is also currently the UP Program Director for the Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Program in Health (ASELPH) which has trained 90 Executive Health Leaders in the Health Sector  and it is a collaboration between University of Pretoria, University of Fort Hare and Harvard University (USA) in association with National and Provincial Departments of Health & South Africa Partners ( funded by  USAID, ELMA South Africa Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies). Starting with a degree in dentistry he has numerous other degrees! Prof Hendricks has also worked as the Chief Director for Human Resources and Labour Relations, Professor of Public Health at MEDUNSA, Deputy Director-General in KZN DOH, Deputy Director- General at the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI).


Topic: Untreated violence: overcoming the gap in care for survivors of sexual violence in resource-constrained environments

Garret Barnwell is a registered clinical psychologist, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Southern Africa and is the current Deputy Head of Mission for MSF in South Africa and Lesotho.

Garret has worked in several countries with MSF since 2010, including South Africa, Lebanon, Turkey, and Somaliland. He has interests in policy and advocacy, mental health, populations on the move, and responses to sexual violence; and is part of the Rural Mental Health Campaign.




Topic: The Quality conundrum: Rendering rural health care with resource  constraints

Nela Mojanaga is the Chief Director for Health in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District. Her primary focus is providing strategic leadership in integrating fragmented health and social welfare services. She qualified as a social worker and did case work for 12 years, in Botshabelo in the Free State, whilst continuing to study community development, and health management and facility management. During this time Nela was also doing philanthropic work. She served as an executive committee member in the following organizations, Trust for Christian Outreach and Education(TCOE), National Progressive Primary Health Care Network(NPPHCN) and Orange Free State Rural Committee(OFSRUC)

She established the District Health System in Ventersdorp from 1996 – 2001, and was promoted to District Director from April 2001- July 2013.  In addition she sits on various boards and committees and is currently Provincial Chairperson of Black Management Forum in the North West.

Nela has been awarded various awards for her contribution in service delivery: TCOE for dedicated service delivery to communities in 1999, Premiers Awards for Outstanding Performance in Health Care Service Delivery in 1998 and 2003, Centre for Public Service Innovation( CPSI) Silver Awards for Public Private Partnership and Innovation in Improving Service Delivery in 2009. The District, under her leadership, has also received another CPSI Award in 2011 on Integrated Chronic Diseases Management (ICDM). This model is being piloted in Mpumalanga and Limpopo to determine whether it can be rolled out throughout the country.

Her biggest, proudest and worthy achievement is mother to Koketso, sister to her siblings and the friend whom everyone seeks when in trouble and needs a sounding board.