Acts that govern nursing in South Africa

The South African Nursing Council is the body entrusted to set and maintain standards of nursing education and practice in the Republic of South Africa.  It is an autonomous, financially independent, statutory body, initially established by the Nursing Act, 1944 (Act No. 45 of 1944), and currently operating under the Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005).

The SANC has always acted strictly in compliance with the Government’s regulations and directives published under the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002. It needs to be noted that, it was through these regulations that sectors and services were classified as essential services. It was through the same regulations that the implementation of the Risk Adjusted Strategy was implemented, gradually allowing controlled reopening of the country’s activities. It is regrettable that a few of our own professionals may have misread and/or misunderstood the Government’s legislation and guidelines, the SANC could not deliberately disregard Government’s legislation and thus it is in compliance with same that the current situation has unfolded and herewith further addressed.

To provide for the establishment of the National Public Health Institute of
South Africa in order to conduct disease and injury surveillance and to provide specialised public health services, public health interventions, training and research directed towards the major health challenges affecting the population of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
RECOGNISING that the right for all South Africans to quality health requires the State to take legislative and other measures to achieve the availability of health services, and a system of health protection focused on access, equity, efficiency, and quality;
AWARE that the realisation of the right to quality health can be achieved by,
amongst others, the-
• establishment of a single national public entity to provide public health
services to the country that performs critical public health functions and that requires a high level of coordination across functions, such as surveillance, and research;
• restructuring and transformation of the public health sector to provide sciencebased leadership and public health services, and serve as focal point for the efforts to protect and improve health; and

• development of policies that will enable the single national public health entity to provide public health functions and services nationally;
• provide support, expertise and advice to government to achieve
improvements in the health of the population; and
• provide coordinated disease and injury surveillance, research, training and workforce development, monitoring and evaluation of services and
interventions directed towards the major health problems affecting the
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as

  1. In this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise-
    “Minister” means the Minister of Health;
    “NAPHISA” means the National Public Health Institute of South Africa established
    by section 2;
    “prescribed” means prescribed by regulation made in terms of this Act;
    “Public Finance Management Act” means the Public Finance Management Act,
    1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999);
    “this Act” includes any regulation made in terms of this Act.

Establishment of National Public Health Institute of South Africa


  1. (1) There is hereby established a juristic person to be known as the
    National Public Health Institute of South Africa, comprising of divisions dealing with
    the following:
    (a) Communicable Diseases;
    (b) Non-Communicable Diseases;
    (c) Cancer Surveillance; and
    (d) Injury and Violence Prevention.
    (2) The Public Finance Management Act applies to NAPHISA.
    (3) NAPHISA is funded by-
    (a) money appropriated by Parliament;
    (b) fees received for services rendered;
    (c) income earned on surplus moneys deposited or invested;
    (d) grants, donations and bequests made to it;
    (e) royalties; and
    (f) money received from any other source.
    Functions of NAPHISA
  2. (1) NAPHISA must-
    (a) promote co-operation between the Republic and other countries with regard
    to the epidemiological surveillance and management of diseases and injuries;
    (b) coordinate, develop or maintain surveillance systems to collect, analyse and
    interpret health data to guide health interventions;

(c) use surveillance data to advise on setting health policies, priorities and
(c) use public health information for monitoring and evaluation of policies and interventions;
(d) coordinate reference laboratory and referral services;
(e) provide leadership and direction to provinces and local authorities in disease and injury surveillance and outbreak response;
(f) strengthen capacity of the health workforce in health surveillance to reduce the burden of disease and injury;
(g) strengthen cross border and regional public health efforts.
(h) strengthen epidemiology and surveillance of communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, cancer and injury and violence prevention;
(i) advise the Minister on strategies to improve the health of the population;
(j) support the health response and provide recommendations to government on control measures for disease outbreaks and mitigating risks and hazards for injury and violence;
(k) collaborate with relevant government departments and government agencies to implement communication strategies on public health issues and outbreak response;
(/) provide technical support to all spheres of government and other regulatory bodies on surveillance of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, cancer, injury and violence prevention;
(m) conduct research to inform policy and guidelines on communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, cancer surveillance, injury and violence

Governance and control of NAPHISA

  1. (1) NAPHISA is governed and controlled, in accordance with this
    Act, by its Board.
    (2) The Board is the accounting authority of NAPHISA and must
    ensure that it fulfills its responsibilities in terms of Chapter 6 of the Public Finance
    Management Act.
    Composition of Board
  2. (1) The Board consists of the following members, appointed by the
    Minister, taking into account, among other things, the appropriate representation of
    race, gender and disability:
    (a) An official from the national Department of Health;
    (b) two members who have special knowledge in-
    (i) economics, financial matters or accounting; and
    (ii) legal matters;
    (c) four members comprising one member each with special knowledge in-
    (i) communicable diseases;
    (ii) non-communicable diseases;
    (iii) cancer surveillance; and
    (iv) injury and violence prevention;
    (d) the Chief Financial Officer of NAPHISA;

(e) The Chief Executive Officer of NAPHISA; and
(f) one member nominated by the schools of public health within publicly funded
higher education institutions.
Appointment of members of Board

  1. (1) The Minister must, before appointing the members
    contemplated in section 5(1 )(b) and (c), by notice in the Gazette and in two or more
    nationally circulating newspapers in the Republic, invite all interested persons to
    nominate, within the period specified in the notice, persons who in the opinion of
    such interested persons are fit to be so appointed, stating the grounds upon which
    such opinion is based.
    (2) If a suitable person or the required number of persons is not
    nominated in accordance with subsection (1 ), the Minister must appoint an
    appropriate person who qualifies to be appointed in terms of this Act.
    (3) A member of the Board holds office for a period of at least five
    years as the Minister may determine at the time of appointment, and is eligible for reappointment.
    (4) A member of the Board, excluding a member who is in the fulltime employment of the State, must be appointed on such conditions as the Minister
    may, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, determine.
    (5) If the number of members of the Board is reduced to such an
    extent that a quorum cannot be obtained, the Minister may appoint suitably qualified
    persons on a temporary basis to serve on the Board until new members are
    appointed in terms of this section.

Acts that govern nursing in South Africa