Health Systems and Public Health
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Health Systems and ​​Public Health​


​Academic​ S​​taff

Associate Prof René English

Head of Division
Qualifications: MBChB, MMED, FCPHM, PhD
Tel: +27 21 938 9566
Secretary email:

Professor René English is a Medical Doctor and Public Health Medicine Specialist and holds a Doctorate Degree. She has experience in clinical and health systems research and in the development of responsive and innovative health systems solutions. She developed the first syndromic respiratory guideline in South Africa, then called the Practical Approach to Lung Health in South Africa (PALSA) which has subsequently been expanded into the PAK guideline. She was head of the Health Systems Research Unit at the Health Systems Trust, and has served as a co-editor for the South African Health Review and District Health Barometer publications. She was a past fellow of the Africa Science Leadership Programme. She is currently the Head of the Health Systems and Public Health Division in the Department of Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. She served on the South African Health Ministerial Task Team for Human Resources for Health and was the Chair of the Information, Monitoring and Evaluation Workstream. She has served on the South African Lancet National Commission on High Quality Health Systems.​

Dr Sydney Carstens

Occupational Medicine Senior Lecturer and Principal Medical Specialist
Qualifications: MB, ChB; MMed Comm Health; FCPHM (SA) Occ. Med
Tel: +27 21 938 9206

Dr. Sydney Carstens joined Stellenbosch University in December 1994 as Lecturer/Senior Specialist in Community Health within the Department of Community Health and is currently employed as Senior Lecturer and Principal Medical Specialist in the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. His highest registered qualification with the Health Professions Council of South Africa is the MMed in Occupational Medicine and he is a Fellow (by invitation) of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, within the Division of Occupational Medicine. His academic field of specialization is Occupational Medicine and his main field of expertise lies within under- and postgraduate training on Occupational Health to all health care workers and clinical services delivery within this field, with specific interest in the occupational health aspects of fitness-to-work evaluations, occupational health services for the health care worker and workplace exposure to ionizing radiation. He also has vast experience in the planning and implementation of Occupational Health service delivery within the SA context, ranging from diamond mines to municipal occupational health services. Currently he heads the academic discipline of Occupational Medicine at Stellenbosch University and is the program co-ordinator of the Masters in Medicine (Occupational Medicine), the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Medicine at Stellenbosch University and the short course training of medical practitioners regarding the occupational health aspects of exposure to ionizing radiation.​

Dr WAJ (Jack) Meintjes

Specialist in Occupational Medicine 
Qualifications: MBChB; DOM; FCPHM(SA) Occ Med; MMed (Occ Med)
Tel: +27 21 938 9272

Dr Jack Meintjes is a specialist in Occupational Medicine, with a special interest in the health of the healthcare worker and maritime and diving medicine.  He is the programme coordinator of all the baromedicine programmes at the university.  He serves on a number of national and international committees, including the Diving Advisory Board of the Department of Labour, the European Diving Technology Committee (EDTC), the Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC), the Southern African Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Association (SAUHMA), the Divers Alert Network Southern Africa (DANSA).

Dr Meintjes also has a special interest in epidemiology and biostatistics and has supervised a number of research projects and has authored epidemiology chapters in two textbooks.​

Mrs Maryke Geldenhuys

Clinical Trainer 
Qualifications: B. Occupational Therapy, ​M. Early Childhood Intervention 
Tel: +27 21 938 9816


Mrs Maryke Geldenhuys is a clinical trainer within the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch. She assists with the coordination of public health and community based education in the undergraduate MBChB curriculum. 

Dr Lungiswa Nkonki

Senior Lecturer
Qualifications: MSc Economics, Phd Health Economics
Tel: +27 21 938 9440

Dr Lungiswa Nkonki completed her PhD in Health Economics at the University of Bergen in 2012. Her doctoral dissertation title was: “Health systems challenges in South Africa: Effective and equitable delivery of interventions to improve infant feeding and reduce mother to child transmission of HIV". Her research interests include economic evaluation of healthcare programmes, measuring inequality in health outcomes, and understanding the determinants of attrition/retention of lay health workers. Dr Nkonki has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and has also worked as a specialist scientist at the Medical Research Council.​

Ziyanda Vundle.jpgDr Ziyanda Vundle
Public Health Medicine Specialist and Senior Lecturer
Qualifications: MBCHB, MMed, FCPHM​ ​
​Tel: +27 21 483 4429

Dr Ziyanda Vundle is a specialist in Public Health Medicine; with special interests in Health Systems Management, Social Determinants of Health, and Non-communicable diseases epidemiology and control.  She is a specialist within the Western Government: Health, providing public health technical expertise to the portfolios of Quality Assurance, Occupational Health and Infection prevention and control; jointly appointed as a senior lecturer in the Division of Health Systems and Public Health. ​