Covid-19 has catapulted Boitumelo Semete- Makokotlela into the public eye

24 May 2021

Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela’s children have nicknamed her “meeting”, because she spends so many evenings and weekends on virtual calls.

A biochemist by training, she was appointed CEO of SA’s medicines regulator barely two months before the coronavirus crisis hit SA. Taking the helm at the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra), which replaced the troubled Medicines Control Council (MCC) in 2018, would have been tough enough, but Covid-19 brought with it a host of new challenges.

“We were dealing with a complexity we had never had to handle before. At the same time, Sahpra had just come out of a strike and had all these operational gaps. People were still being transitioned from the Department of Health to Sahpra and some did not even know what they were supposed to do,” she says.

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