Time Line

The history of COCHASA and its role in complementary health in South Africa.

  • 1992
    On the 26th November 1992 a national body for complementary therapies was formed. COCHASA, the Confederation of Complementary Health Associations of South Africa, was established with Mike O'Brien as Chairperson.

  • 1993
    COCHASA made representations to Parliament about Act 63 which would grant certain complementary therapies official legal recognition.
  • 1995
    Intensive lobbying by COCHASA and others to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, resulted in an entirely new structure of the proposed new Interim Council.
    • November: a COCHASA Gauteng group was formed.
  • 1996
    COCHASA made a submission to the Constitutional Assembly that Chapter 2 point 26 of the Constitution which reads:

26.1 Everyone has the right to have access to:
a.    health care services, including reproductive health care, of the highest attainable standard:

should have the proposed addition:
b.    'health care services and practitioners of their own choice'

    • May: A 'bosberaad' preceeded the 2nd meeting of the Council. This resulted in Mike O'Brian being elected as the chairperson of the Interim Council. Although he was also the chairman of COCHASA he was not accepted onto the Council as a representative of COCHASA. He therefore stepped down as chairman of COCHASA but remained our Honorary President for a number of years.
    • Aug: COCHASA-Gauteng held a large public meeting to invite debate and record the opinions of existing modalities as to recommendations and proposals concerning amendments to Act No 63 of 1982.

COCHASA (National Executive and the Gauteng group) supported the HPA - Health Products Association and organized public meetings, attended meetings with Government, lobbied for, and achieved changes within the MCC resulting in COCHASA members on the CMC and on various sub-committees of the CMC.  

  • 1997
    Cochasa was invited to attend The Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) meeting.
  • 1998
    • May: COCHASA was an observer at the AHPC meeting.   
  • 2000
    COCHASA extended its membership to include Individual Practitioners as Associate Individual members and amended the constitution accordingly.
    • June: Interviews with Femina magazine and SA City Life on alternative health.
    • Aug/Sept: COCHASA supports the intensive lobbying of Dr Abe Nkomo and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, Ms Lauretta Jacobus and her National Council of Provinces Select Committee on Social Services, together with appeals to the Minister and her special adviser, Advocate Patricia Lambert.  
  • 2004
    COCHASA supported a Nationwide Petition for Health Practitioners to practice their chosen profession and for the public's right of choice of Health Care Modality.

  • 2007
    Confusion arose in the general complementary health arena as a consequence of the misinterpretation of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No 22 of 2007). Some other organisations promised complementary practitioners registration as traditional health practitioners with the statutory council that would be established in accordance with the Act. COCHASA member AASPSA wrote to the Department of Health and received a response to the effect that this bill only covered African Traditional Healers, and not western modalities of traditional healing. COCHASA took the informed view that it was not a route for western complementary modalities to find a home of legitimacy.
  • 2008
    • COCHASA wrote a number of letters to the Ministry of Health (Marion Borcherds) to request a meeting to discuss a way forward for non-statutory complementary health practitioners, but received no meaningful response other than an acknowledgement of receipt of the letter.
    • The NHTS (Natural Health Teaching Services) was established with a view to assisting modalities to receive SAQA accreditation for training. Its view was to define the training standards, and co-operate with COCHASA who would continue to serve the practitioner associations and individual members. Some COCHASA members joined this organisation as well, and developed unit standards for their training.
  • 2009 -2011
    This marked a period of limbo for COCHASA, with the elected Committee rendered inefficient, impotent and hamstrung due to personal difficulties interfering with responsibilities in the Chair and Secretarial portfolios. Communication and membership tailed off gradually. The interim committee and Honorary President agreed that COCHASA should continue to exist, given its proud heritage, and began to collate the administrative duties.
  • 2012
    • Alison Effting redeveloped and updated the COCHASA website and consolidated the Secretariat at AllisOne after the secretary resigned, with the interim committee supervising and meeting as necessary.
    • Previous members were invited to rejoin, with some success.
    • November 26th marked the 20th anniversary of COCHASA, celebrated at a modest lunch by the interim committee.
  • 2013
    The interim committee and members of COCHASA were deeply saddened to lose the Honorary President, Ian Gillespie on April 15th. Later that year, Ewald Meggersee, founder member and delegate of BSR for many years also passed away.
  • 2014
    At the July AGM, the Association Executive titles were amended to reflect the actual dynamics that have evolved within the confederation.
    COCHASA continues to hold the space for recognition of non-therapeutic complementary health associations and associate individual practitioners.

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The information supplied on this website is intended for information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or as a replacement for appropriate medical care. The information has been sourced from COCHASA members in respect of their various modalities from a variety of journals and reference materials, in order to broaden awareness of complementary modalities in facilitating health and wellbeing. Please consult your practitioner if you have health concerns. COCHASA, the Executive Committee and its members do not profess to diagnose, treat or cure disease. Neither COCHASA nor the Executive Committee make any warrant as to the efficacy of any of the complementary modalities represented by the members.

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