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Epilepsy South Africa
Eastern Cape

Epilepsy Information

Online Counsellor

Please email our online counsellor with any epilepsy related questions to info@epilepsy.org.za

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Establishment of services in the Eastern Cape

The National Office of Epilepsy South Africa has been delivering limited services in the Eastern Cape for some three years. James Mkalipi (the first Eastern Cape Coordinator) resigned and was replaced by Mthobisi Madlala with effect from January 2012 allowing for the expansion of services with a view to formalising the structure.

The ongoing discrimination experienced by people with disabilities (particularly people with epilepsy) in the Eastern Cape can largely be ascribed to a lack of knowledge and understanding in the general population. There is thus an identified and defined need to empower the target population towards independence and self-advocacy in addition to providing much needed education and awareness about epilepsy.

Purpose and aims of services

The purpose of our Eastern Cape programmes is to expand our existing services in the Eastern Cape and to formalise the current service point.  It aims to improve access to services in the Eastern Cape for people with epilepsy, as well as those affected by epilepsy to combat discrimination towards and stigmatisation of people with epilepsy and/or other disabilities and to enhance their inclusion in mainstream society.  This is achieved through the empowerment of people with epilepsy and/or other disabilities and the rendering of direct services to the target population.


  • Inclusion and integration of people with epilepsy (and/or other disabilities) into mainstream society.
  • Expansion of knowledge and increased awareness about disability in mainstream society leading to higher levels of acceptance and integration.
  • Reduction of discrimination towards people with disabilities.
  • Empowerment of people with disabilities through the delivery of direct services.

Advocacy and human rights

We hosted the first advocacy and human rights training programme in Mhlabathi early in March 2012 attended by 17 participants.  This workshop was particularly challenging given the need for translation from English into isiXhosa.  The workshop formed part of our national pilot project to test the content and material of the advocacy and human rights training progamme.

A second workshop will be held in the Mthatha area early in 2013.

Support group development

There are currently three support groups in the Eastern Cape:

  • Mhlabathi (some 45 kilometres from East London);
  • Motherwel (Port Elizabeth); and
  • Mncosho Clinic (Berlin).

Counselling and support services

As a registered Auxiliary Social Worker and final year social work student, Mthobisi Madlala is well placed to offer counselling and support services to people with and affected by epilepsy in the Eastern Cape.  Such services are available telephonically and face-to-face, as well as via the online counselling service on our website.

Awareness and education

Information about epilepsy is provided through interactive talks to raise awareness and expand the knowledge of members of the general public.  These talks are often conducted at healthcare clinics and schools, but also at government departments, companies and organisations.  The talks are structured to suit the profile and needs of the specific target group.

Branch development

An Interim Branch Board was established during August 2012 under chairmanship of Mr Daluthando Xotyeni with specific responsibility of drafting a Branch constitution and arranging the first Annual General Meeting to formally establish the Branch.