COHSASA welcomed three new Board Members at its quarterly May 2017 meeting to take the vision and mission of the organisation forward. There was also a change of leadership at the top of the Board. Ms Sharon Slabbert has been appointed Chairperson of the Board with Professor Gert van Zyl as vice-Chair.

The Board thanked Professor Erwin Schwella for his many years of excellent leadership as former Chair of the Board. Professor Schwella, appointed as Chairperson in 2014, is taking up a full professorship at the School of Governance at Tilburg University, Netherlands.

Wishing Professor Schwella the very best for the future, CEO of COHSASA, Jacqui Stewart remarked: “It was particularly noted how much the Board appreciated your ‘out of the box’ and strategic thinking which has proved invaluable at the annual strategic planning meeting.”



From left (above): Former COHSASA Chairperson, Professor Erwin Schwella, new COHSASA Chairperson, Sharon Slabbert and new Vice-Chair Professor Gert van Zyl.

Sharon Slabbert, a key figure in health care in South Africa, is the Executive officer; Health service delivery at the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA). She has been involved in matters related to quality, private hospital management and nursing in the South African health industry for many years.

Professor Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State and a previous member of the Board of the Office of Health Standards Compliance is an Inaugural Fellow of the Association of Medical Education Europe and President of the SA Association of Health Educationalists.

A renowned researcher, Prof Van Zyl has served and is serving on several medical and dental board committees and on the Health Professions Council of South Africa. His passion for quality clinical health service delivery makes him an excellent appointment to this position.


The new Board Members are (from left above): Mrs Madelein Mkunu, Professor Ethelwynn Stellenberg and Dr Sibusiso Zuma.

Commenting on the appointment of the new directors, CEO of COHSASA Jacqui Stewart said: “I am delighted to welcome our three new Board members.  They have a wealth of experience  and expertise and bring very diverse skill sets to the Board.”

New Chairman of the Board, Sharon Slabbert said: “I welcome with delight the new board members with their diverse areas of expertise and experience and I look forward to many years of mutual benefit as we work towards improving quality in healthcare facilities all over Africa.”

Mrs Madelein Mkunu, an accountant by profession, is the founder and President of Leading Women of Africa and Director of LWA-Corporate Investment, a firm that aims to increase the number of women involved in investment, international trade and other services on the continent. She is a Professional Fellow with the U.S. Department of State at Michigan State University on women economic empowerment, strengthening leadership capacity and professional skills.

Passionate about leadership, Mrs Mkunu believes that her appointment to the Board of COHSASA will contibute in adding leadership support to COHSASA clients from around Africa.

Professor Ethelwynn Stellenberg is one of South Africa's most accomplished professional nurses. She is the Associate Professor of Nursing at Stellenbosch University, overseeing advanced degrees in nursing and teaches risk management to post graduate students in the Nursing Management and Health Services Programme. She was Head of Reseach for a number of years, currently she is the Head of Quality Management and Regulation in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery. She has played a significant role in the advanced educuation of South African nurses. She is a ministerial re-appointee for a second term of office to the Board for the Office of Health Standards Compliance. In addition to serving on the Board she also serves as Chairperson of the Human Relations and Remuneration committee as well as serving on the Enforcement and Certification Committee. Professor Stellenberg's appointment will continue to contibute boldly and fearlessly to safe quality patient care. 

Dr Sibusiso Zuma is a technnical advisor on primary health care at FHI 360 focusing on quality improvement and achievement of Ideal Clinic status. He has many years of experience as a Senior Manager of clinical quality in three of South African provinces and holds several degrees in the field of health studies, including a Doctorate of Philosophy and Literature in Health Studies.

Dr Zuma has a wide range of knowledge on managing and monitoring health standards compliance and overseeing quality improvement programmes. About his appointment to the COHSASA Board he said, “ I believe my appointment to the Board  will contribute towards increasing the footprint of COHSASA  in both public and private sectors  with a special focus on the primary health care services .”