Media Statement:

Issued by: ​Department of Health

Date: ​​ Friday, 15 May 2020

Health has a new Director-General

The National Department of Health is pleased to announce Dr Sandile Buthelezi as its incoming Director-General.

A seasoned expert in health governance, policy and programme management with more than 15 years in the field, Dr Buthelezi promises to bring a wealth of knowledge to the National Department of Health at a crucial epoch in the trajectory of South Africa’s health system.

Dr Buthelezi currently holds the reins as the chief executive of the South African National Aids Council – a position he has held since September 2017.

While at SANAC, Buthelezi drove the implementation of the National Strategic Plan – a roadmap towards a future where HIV and TB are no longer plague the lives of South Africans or put strain on our health system. He has also worked to secure billions in grants from the Global Fund to assist South Africa’s fight against HIV.

Trained as a medical doctor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Buthelezi cut his teeth at the Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, before climbing the ranks and being appointed the Director of HIV in the province’s Health Department.

“The lessons that we’ve learnt from dealing with HIV in South Africa are coming in handy as we are dealing with COVID-19, specifically when it comes to community-based testing, screening and testing,” Dr Buthelezi said.

In 2010, Dr Buthelezi began serving as South Africa’s Country Director for ICAP at Columbia University before working as a Senior Technical Lead for the DFID-funded SARRAH programme.  He then joined SANAC in 2017.

“The experience I’ve gained in and out of the public sector has made me a much more moulded person to work with a team of people to move forward with critically focussing on the National Health Insurance,” Dr Buthelezi said.

“With a visionary Health Minister like Dr Zweli Mkhize, and the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, I believe we are in safe hands. We all want to contribute towards quality healthcare services for all South Africans…We are all together in this, and for all of us, it should be all hands on deck.”


For more information, please contact:

Mr Popo Maja

Department of Health Spokesperson

Mobile: 072 585 3219/082 373 1169