"Changing obstacles into true potential!"  Epilepsy South Africa  |  

National Programme: Epilepsy South Africa

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  Pan-African Capacity Training Intervention


The Pan-African Capacity Training Intervention has grown from the fertile soil of Africa.  It was conceived by the growing need of the people of Africa, especially those with disabilities. 

Every hand joining this initiative, every partner and supporter will help to build together towards the fulfilment of this vital intervention. 

PACTI sets the benchmark for an integrated and comprehensive solution to the divide between effort and impact in Africa.  You are invited to become part of this solution.  View the PACTI Concept Document, or download the Logical Framework which reflects the variety of training intervention available.  For furhter information, enquiries or Country-specific quotations, please contact Ms Marina Clarke at nationaldirector.no@epilepsy.org.za or +27 21 595 4900.


The National Office has six main focal areas:


Through the Governance programme we ensure good governance and quality service delivery within the organisation.

This is done through:

  • continues revision of internal policies and procedures,
  • monitoring and evaluation of operations, services and governance practices
  • application of stringent financial management
  • recruitment and development of Board members
  • continues development and training of Epilepsy South Africa senior management and personnel
  • inclusion of people with epilepsy within decision making roles of Epilepsy South Africa

Through networking and representation of Epilepsy South Africa at various forums, meetings and conferences we ensure that Epilepsy South Africa is well recognised nationally and internationally.  This further ensures that the needs of people with epilepsy forms part of national and international debates and strategies.  This assists Epilepsy South Africa in achieving our goal of decreasing discrimination towards people with epilepsy and full inclusion of people with epilepsy in mainstream society.


Through implementing this programme the organisation strives to ensure the continued financial sustanability of our service delivery. We implement a national fund development strategy and we rely on the generous donations from donors and funders to ensure continued programme implementation. We also host fundraising events on an annual basis such as our National Wine Auction.

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Epilepsy South Africa needs your support to ensure a future where all South Africans are united in our view on disabilities in a true society for all.

You can support us in many different ways, such as:

  • regular donations via debit order,
  • once off donations via your bank account or credit card,
  • becoming a member of Epilepsy South Africa National Office,
  • becoming a corporate partner of Epilepsy South Africa National Office,
  • leaving a bequest to our organisation in your will, or
  • volunteer your services, experience or expertise to our organisation.

These contributions work together to protect the people of South Africa, regardless of their disability, and help their integration into mainstream society.

For more information on how you can become involved in helping people with epilepsy, to book your seat at our annual Wine Auction, or to learn more of our easy and convenient ways of donating to Epilepsy South Africa National Office, please e-mail fundraising.no@epilepsy.org.za.





We are priviledged to enjoy the continuous support of celebrities with epilepsy and to launch numerous media campaigns with the assistance of our advertising agence, Tomcat.  Awareness of the condition is crucial to lay the foundation to ask for support in the form of financial as well as social contributions.

Awareness about the condition assist those living with epilepsy in many ways.  The understanding of epilepsy by society, makes their lives easier .  We always aim to provide more of this by providing facts.











There are several programmes within the National Social Development Programme, namely:

  • National Child and Youth Development Programme
    With this programme we aim to reach children with epilepsy to ensure that they will develop into healthy and well adapted adults who are fully included in mainstream society. 
  • National Advocacy Programme
    With this programme we aim to empower people with epilepsy to stand up and speak out about their rights to inclusion, acceptance and full participation.

    • Human Rights Charter -

      Epilepsy South Africa is developing a Human Rights Charter for people with epilepsy.  This document is intended to be a tool that can be used to understand and express your rights.  Therefore it requires feedback from people with epilepsy to ensure its integrity and accuracy.  Please take a moment to complete the survey to ensure the Charter effectively represents the views and needs of people with epilepsy.  Your participation is appreciated.

  • Branch Support Programme
    The National Social Development Manager provides assessment, training and support to the social development departments and staff within the Branches of Epilepsy South Africa, to ensure quality and progressive service delivery.
  • National Information Management Programme
    Through this programme the organisation strives to obtain accurate statistice about our consumers and we further strive to ensure the development and distribution of applicable and accurate information about epilepsy.
  • Under-Serviced Provinces Outreach Programme
    The National Office is responsible for the development and implementation of direct service delivery for people with epilepsy and other disabilities in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. Our services currently include awareness and training about epilepsy and we work in partnership with existing NGO’s and CBO’s in these provinces to ensure continued service delivery.
  • National Epilepsy Week programme
    Epilepsy South Africa celebrates National Epilepsy Week annually with National Epilepsy Day being 21 June each year. This day being winter soltice, (longest night and shortest day) we strive to take epilepsy out of the shadows of misconception into the light of understanding and acceptance.

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The expansion of the Epilepsy SA economic development network in both the private and public sectors ensures access to up-to-date information and allows new opportunities to be identified.  This network also forms the basis of memoranda of understanding/agreement for improved service delivery.

*Branch support:


The programme aims to provide support and training to the economic development initiatives of Branches.  This is achieved through regular visits to Branches to review development, identify needs and provide the required support.

Picture left: "The National Office visits a women's income generation project initiated by the Free State & North West Branch in Tumahole, Parys"


*Workshop Transformation Programme:



This Programme addresses the empowerment of people with disabilities working within protective workshops.   Epilepsy South Africa developed a model for the transformation of protective workshops. 


Picture left: Workers with disabilities assembling and packaging products in the Geduld Protective Workshops in Springs, Gauteng.


Picture left: Workers with disabilities working on the production line of the Geduld Workshop in Springs, Gauteng. 

 17431_0020_400Picture left: One of the protective workshop workers operating woodworking machinery in the Carecraft Lansdowne Workshop in Cape Town.

*Income generation projects:

It is estimated that only about 1% of people with disabilities currently enjoy employment.  The high rate of unemployment in the disability sector is further underlined by the poor performance achieved by both the public and private sectors in terms of employment equity.  These factors clearly indicate that employment in the second economy offers a real solution to the unemployment crisis facing people with disabilities.  It must further be understood that people with epilepsy suffer far more stigmatisation and discrimination (especially in terms of employment) than people with physical or sensory disabilities.  This programme aims to build capacity (knowledge and skills) within Epilepsy South Africa for the establishment and development of income generation projects in the second economy.  The first Training of Trainers seminar was successfully hosted in Gauteng in January 2007 and a second seminar in Cape Town in October 2007.  This programme will soon achieve accreditation in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

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*Entrepreneurial development:

Both national and international research studies in recent years have identified the value of entrepreneurial development in the disability sector as a solution to the high unemployment figures.  Thus, this programme will assist in breaking down the current dependency on disability grants evident in the sector through job creation.  Epilepsy South Africa utilises various tools to meet the needs of potential, emerging and existing entrepreneurs with disabilities such as the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Programme of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)and the Vuk'Uzensele Programme.  The National Office regularly hosts training of trainers seminars nationally, thereby building capacity at the provincial and local levels.

During 2010 Epilepsy South Africa will be enhancing our entrepreneurial development programme by adding two new components:

  • Social entrepreneurship; and
  • Women's entrepreneurial development

The term "social enterprise" describes a viable and financially successful business with a social/environmental focus.  Many of the small businesses established through initiatives and interventions of Epilepsy South Africa fall in this category.

August 2010 will see the launch of the Epilepsy South Africa Women's Entrepreneurial Development (WED) programme.  The National Office will host a capacity building seminar in Cape Town from 16 to 20 August 2010.  The seminar will be attended by disability and women's organisations.  Please email economicdev.no@epilepsy.org.za to request inclusion in this seminar.


Picture left: Siyakhulu Public Phones owned by David Ubane in Tumahole, Parys


Picture left: Internet Café owned by Sello Kutuane and Petrus Miya in Tumahole, Parys



Picture left: Graduates of the SIYB Programme in Knysna (South Cape/Karoo Branch)

In addition to training activities, the organisation produces a monthly entrepreneurial development newsletter.  Please send an email to economicdev.no@epilepsy.org to subscribe.  Copies of the newsletter is also available on the "Download" page.

 *Disability employment awareness:

The programme aims to create awareness and understanding of the employment rights of people with epilepsy and other disabilities, especially in the public sector.  This will be achieved through a series of sensitization workshops held in selected national government departments and institutions.




The National Office Skills Development Programme aims to not only empower the employees of Epilepsy South Africa, but also our clients and volunteers. Epilepsy South Africa implemented a detailed national skills development programme in 2006 resulting in annual skills audits, the submission of Workplace Skills Plans, the appointment of Skills Development Facilitators and the establishment of skills development committees.

With the assistance of Cambridge University Press of Southern Africa, the National Office published a series of training manuals on income generation, supervision of people with disabilities, production management, baking as a small business and detergent manufacturing.

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Epilepsy South Africa participates in and contributes to national skills development initiatives such as the National Skills Development Strategy, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the development of occupations related to skills development (Follow this link to view/download a document "Framework for the National Skills Development Strategy"). The organisation is also a member of the Association for Skills Development Facilitation in South Africa (ASDFSA)

However, it is through the provision of training services that the organisation creates major impact.  Regular training workshops and seminars are held countrywide on topics as diverse as entrepreneurial development and supervisory skills.  The National Office currently offers in excess of 30 programmes and recently applied for accreditation as a training provider, thereby enabling the organisation to offer accredited training courses.

The National Office also offers Training of Trainer seminars, enabling participants from a variety of organisations to implement their new knowledge and skills in their own operational areas.

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