Updated 21 May 2018

Health Department to push R100 million into oncology for Gauteng and KZN provinces

The Department of Health is confronting the massive cancer backlog in Gauteng and KZN, and has allocated funds to tackle the problem.


Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the Department plans to run a massive cancer campaign in his Health Budget Vote speech for 2018/2019.

He also said that the department will, without compromise, target tobacco smoking and sugar intake.

In his speech, Dr Motsoaledi quoted a few portions of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, one of them being, "We will also need to confront lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases. We will launch a huge cancer campaign, similar to the HIV counselling and testing campaign."

Unhealthy lifestyles a contributor

Dr Motsoaledi said he's aware that there are many causes for different cancers, including genetic and hormonal factors, but unhealthy lifestyle is also a major contributing factor.

"I am sure Honourable Members are aware that Cabinet has approved for public participation, the amendments to the anti-tobacco legislation in order to take tougher measures against tobacco.

"Please do not allow yourself to be rented by the tobacco and sugar companies to become their spokespersons here in Parliament and in the communities," said Dr Motsoaledi.

Creating the cancer campaign

As the department plans to embark on their new cancer campaign, Dr Motsoaledi told the National Assembly that the department is consulting with stakeholders, including civil society organisations, as well as suppliers of diagnostic equipment and cancer drugs to co-design the cancer campaign.

The campaign aims to bring about more awareness and education around various cancers, especially breast, cervical and prostate cancers.

Dr Motsoaledi said, "While there are different causes for the different cancers, including genetic and hormonal factors, unhealthy lifestyles are also major contributing factors. We need to target all the causes of cancer to ensure that we have the best possible chance of decreasing their incidence.

"Cancer need not be inevitable, or a death sentence, or universally difficult to treat. We can prevent many cancers and successfully treat many of them if diagnosed early.

"Our campaign, therefore, will seek in the first instance to provide South Africans with the information that they need to prevent cancer, to self-screen, such as breast examinations, and to get tested for breast, cervical and prostate cancers, for example."

Dr Motsoaledi added that a considerable portion of funding, which comes from the sugar tax, has been allocated to the Department of Health for the cancer campaign.

Image credit: iStock


Good Sex? Bad Sex? Rad Sex?

2018-07-20 11:16

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.