MEDIA RELEASE: Embargo: Immediate release


Pretoria, 21 June 2019 – The South African Health Products Regulatory

Authority (SAHPRA) can confirm that there is NO radiation exposure emanating from the Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging. “The principal mandate of SAHPRA is to ensure that the health of the patients, staff and public is not compromised in any way. This includes undue radiation exposure,” indicates Ms Portia Nkambule, Acting CEO at SAHPRA. In this vein, SAHPRA launched a multi-disciplinary investigation into the alleged radiation exposure of staff members at the X-ray department of Kopanong Hospital. Blood samples were taken and are being analysed to confirm whether or not staff members were over-exposed to radiation. The outcome of the tests will only be available on Tuesday 25 June 2019. There is no need to
put staff on special leave for two months based on the alleged over exposure. Alternative service arrangements may be implemented pending the outcome of the blood analysis.

However, the X-Ray equipment was found to be non-compliant to regulatory requirements owing to a lack of scheduled maintenance and quality assurance performed on them. The X-ray equipment was rendered inoperable until such time that it meets the requisite standards. A technical review of the dosimetric results reported by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Radiation Protection will be conducted to verify the accuracy of radiation dose measurements as presented by them. “SAHPRA takes the threats of radiation risks seriously and endeavors to ensure the radiation safety of patients and staff members. SAHPRA will issue a further release once the multi-disciplinary investigation is concluded,” says Nkambule.

Issued by:

Ms Portia Nkambule
012 842 7582/7583

Media Contact:

Mr Yuven Gounden
012 842 7628
083 297 1214