Siyakhana Health Trust is a public benefit organization registered in South Africa to provide health management support to small and medium sized businesses through innovative public-private partnerships. We focus on providing holistic workplace health management to our partner or member SMEs through operationalising the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Workplaces Model in the Border-Kei Region of the Amathole District.


Siyakhana Health Trust launched its flagship project to provide HIV and AIDS prevention, care, treatment, support and impact mitigation to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Buffalo City (Eastern Cape, South Africa) in 2006/7. Generally referred to as the “Siyakhana SME Project”, it was established as a partnership between Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), the Border-Kei Chamber of Business and German development agency, Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungestellscaft (DEG).

Siyakhana was established at a time when the South African Government’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic was incoherent and highly contested. During the first year of operation, the project was active in 17 SMEs, reaching ± 6,700 employees and an estimated 26,000 family members.


Siyakhana envisages being part of a society where communities are aware of common health risks, and are empowered to take responsible action



The second phase started in April 2008 and ended in March 2010, with additional support provided through a United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) sub grant administered through BroadReach Healthcare (BRHC). Phase 2 saw an expansion of activities to include 7,655 employees in 37 additional SMEs. By this time there were signs that the Government’s approach to HIV/AIDS was changing. This phase thus importantly saw the strengthening of ongoing partnership with the Provincial and Municipal Departments of Health. Phase 2 thus included the building of capacity in 7 municipal clinics in order to ensure access to treatment, care and support for employees and dependents identified through the SME-based activities.


In 2010-11 (third phase), the Siyakhana SME Project expanded its wellness programme at no additional cost to members. The enhanced wellness programme included Screening for Common 7 Health Conditions (Anaemia, Diabetes, Hypertension, Tuberculosis, HIV, Visual Acuity, Cholesterol), Health Education on a variety of health issues (Anaemia, Diabetes, Hypertension, Tuberculosis, HIV & STIs, Obesity, Smoking, Alcohol/substance abuse), and referral to care-givers.

To date Siyakhana has serviced 60 SMEs, and, in the process, become an internationally recognised benchmark project. In 2010 Mercedes-Benz South Africa received the coveted Stevie International Business Award for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year in Africa and Middle East on account of the Siyakhana SME Project.




Mr Johann Evertse (Chair (2013))

Mr Les Holbrook

Dr Clifford Panter


Dr Simeon Odugwu (Executive Director)

Ms Ruth Summerton (HCT Manager)

Ms Ayanda Mana (Office Manager)

14 part-time clinical and administrative staff





CLICK HERE to view the full Siyakhana Annual Report 2012 in PDF format.