Family Medicine & Primary Care
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care

​​Teaching sites - Ceres Hospital


705276.gifThe Witzenberg Sub-district is centred around the town of Ceres. Other towns included in its catchment area are Wolsely, Tulbagh and Op-Die-Berg.

Known for its warm summers and snow in the winter, it is an area that is developing its outdoor attractions like mountain biking, kloofing, hiking, zip-slides, fly-fishing and many other. It qualifies as a rural area though you can drive to Cape-Town in just over an hour if the need for visiting a Mall becomes too great!

Ceres Hospital, a district/level one hospital, serves a population of 130 000 people, mostly rural. A very low income per capita and migratory workers coming in from the Eastern Cape and Lesotho ensures challenging socio-economic problems and, though our work as doctors tend to focus on illnesses and curative medicine, we are more and more moving out to our communities to work preventative and solve problems where they occur. We know that as a health team we need to work together with our community, utilizing all the allied health professionals and community-based services, provided by local NGO's, available to us to solve some of the challenges. This makes for exciting work!

Ceres Hospital was recently upgraded with a new casualty. With this, new equipment followed and we are now working in an environment that equals the best in level 1 district hospitals in South Africa. Currently we are a team of 5 permanent medical officers, 3 community service officers, 2 Family Medicine registrars and 1 Family Physician. With us there is a physiotherapist, 2 dieticians, a social worker, 2 psychiatric nurses, occupational therapist, dentist and a dental hygienist. The community care services are very active and work very closely with the hospital teams. There is a good relationship and understanding between the private practitioners in Ceres and the state employed doctors. The GPs do some of the calls at Ceres Hospital and therefore stay involved in the system.

There is an atmosphere of learning in Ceres Hospital (86 beds) mainly fuelled by the dedicated outreach and support programs from Worcester Hospital (our regional referral hospital) and involvement by the University of Stellenbosch through its undergraduate students, as part of the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School (see the following two websites: and Further learning and courses are promoted and Ceres Hospital is also an accredited site by the College of Medicine to do your Diploma in Emergency Medicine. 

So in conclusion, the Witzenberg Sub-district is not only a wonderful place to develop your career as a doctor, it is also a place where you can live, develop friendships and enjoy nature.

For more detail contact Dr Melissa Presence-Vollenhoven (Family Physician) at ​or 023 316 9600.​