SAHPRA Announces The Appointment of its New Chief Executive Officer

Pretoria, 03 October 2019 – SAHPRA is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, who will commence with this role in January 2020. Dr Semete-Makokotlela holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry (North-West University) and an MSc in Management Finance and Investment from Wits Business School. She undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Nottingham, UK and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Her research focus was on TB drug delivery systems and she has published several scientific publications, review articles and book chapters.


Dr Semete-Makokotlela has extensive experience in the health technology innovation sector, building on her strong background in R&D and technology management. She has led numerous life science businesses, most recently as the Executive Cluster Manager at the CSIR’s Next Generation Health Cluster. Prior to that, she was Executive Director for CSIR’s Biosciences. She has assisted SMMEs with technology and business incubation, and managed a biotechnology incubator at the Innovation Hub Management Company.


Dr Semete-Makokotlela was a McKinsey Leadership Fellow for two years, working on health sector related programmes. She serves on several thought leadership projects including the African Union Strategy for Health Research, the East Africa Community Bioeconomy Strategy and the WHO Expert Panel on scaling health innovations in Africa.


Commenting on her appointment as CEO, Dr Semete-Makokotlela said, “My international research experience and expertise in leading business will enable me to bring the required strategic positioning of SAHPRA in the sector. I am passionate about playing an integral role in making SAHPRA deliver on its mandate,” indicates Dr Semete-Makokotlela.


Professor Helen Rees, SAHPRA Board Chairperson, said that “the SAHPRA Board is delighted to announce the appointment of its new CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela. Tumi is a dynamic woman scientist and leader with a track record in management and health technology that makes her very well suited to this exciting role. Her background will be complemented by the appointment of Ms Portia Nkambule as the Chief Regulatory Officer, who has played a crucial role as acting CEO since SAHPRA’s inception.”  Prof Rees added that “SAHPRA is at a critical and exciting juncture in its development and we are sure that our ambition to become a world class and effective regulatory authority will be fulfilled by our new and dynamic executive leadership.”

Issued by:

                   Professor Helen Rees, Chairperson, SAHPRA Board

                   011 358 5344




Media Contact:

                       Yuven Gounden

                       012 842 7628

                       066 1202  669




SAHPRA is tasked with regulating (monitoring, evaluating, investigating, inspecting and registering) all health products and clinical trials in South Africa. Health products include complementary medicines, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics (IVDs). SAHPRA also has the responsibility of overseeing the radiation control in South Africa. SAHPRA’s mandate is outlined in the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965 as amended) as well as the Hazardous Substances Act (Act No 15 of 1973).


SAHPRA has three pillars to ensure that medicines, medical devices and IVDs meet the requisite standards to protect the health and well-being of South Africans.

  • Safety
  • Efficacy
  • Quality

The SAHPRA executive, senior management, its staff and its Board have jointly committed themselves to rapidly transforming SAHPRA into a world class regulatory authority.