Scope of the Bill for Traditional Healers (South Africa)


The Bill for Traditional Healers recognizes only four categories, namely that of sangoma, herbalist, diviner and traditional surgeon. Clearly, people from a Western background will mostly be interested in the herbalism, which is at the heart of natural health care. Since healing practice in the African tradition is holistically founded, the field of herbalism will probably also include related modalities such as life style coaching or counselling, nutrition (as part of herbalism) and spiritual healing. Fundamental to this is of course a sound knowledge on anatomy and physiology as well as pathology.

Other interesting possibilities are energy healing (for instance Reiki) as part of spiritual healing, and probably acupuncture, as this is also claimed by many traditional healers as part of their regimen of treatment. These modalities still need to be confirmed by the Minister of health in due course.

To be safe, we strongly recommend a course in herbalism to all prospective practitioners. A thorough knowledge of herbalism will include botany (for plant identification according to taxonomy), pharmaceutical knowledge of the active ingredients of medicinal plants and possible interaction with medical drugs, clinical skills and a wider knowledge of the context and history of traditional herbalism. The skills gained should provide competence in the fields of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. This, in broad terms, we see as the qualifying criteria for registration in terms of the Bill. Of course the Interim Council, which will serve as a statutory body, will have to refine this scope once they become operational.

Allied Health Council

Please note that traditional healers do not fall under the Allied Health Council. Traditional healing is a totally seperate field governed by the Bill for Traditional Healing. During the past few weeks the Allied Health Council, which serves as statutory body for Homeopaths and Naturopaths as well as aromatherapists and reflexology, has issued a warning that no person may practice natural health care unless they are duly registered to do so. Many SCIO (Scientific Consciousness Interface Operating System) practitioners and related health care consultants have subsequently contacted us to know whether they are safe to practice. Some even asked whether they may apply for registration at the Allied Health Council. The answer is simple. If you are not a homeopath, naturopath, reflexologist or aromatherapist, you can not register at the Allied Health Council. The Allied Health Council requires candidates to have completed recognized, accredited course. Homeopaths and naturopaths have university degrees from public universities. You cannot be eligible for registration at the Allied Health Council unless you have complied with proper training requirements. Neither will short, informal courses in aromatherapy and reflexology qualify you for registration since to become either of these you need specialized accredited training.

Practical advice

It has to be reiterated that SCIO practitioners, Etascan/Diascan practitioners/Iridologists and Counsellors are not recognized by the law and consequently they all risk to be closed down. UNLESS of course if they are registered as Traditional Healers.

Indeed, many traditional healers who are registered with the applicable associations such as the NHA (Natural Healers Association), additionally do make use of SCIO’s and similar bio-resonance devices as helpful screening tools. It must be clearly stated: it is not the SCIO or any other sophisticated and expensive device, that lends you the right to practice — only your registration as Traditional Healer. For most bioresonance users this does not pose a problem since, according to the SCIO board which is affiliated to the NHA, herbalism is a core modality in treatment along with the use of the SCIO. It is also in line with the policies of the WHO (World Health Organisation) that wellness includes support on all levels, such as spiritual, energy, chemical and psychological. We are looking for integration and Traditional Health Care can offer this.

To summarize, if you are a Reiki practitioner, counsellor, SCIO operator/Etascan/Diascan operator or Iridologist, make sure that you comply with registration by completing a course in herbalism and related subjects as soon as possible. People who fall outside of the window period during this interim phase, will most likely be obliged to do three year degree studies before they can apply for registration in future. While there is still time to avail yourself of the current “grandfather clause” (registration based on completion of basic courses as mentioned above), please do not miss out on this grand opportunity.

The NHA will provisionally register practitioners who are actively engaged in the field of primary health care. These candidates will qualify in the category “supportive” and will be required to upgrade their qualifications to include modalities specified above.