Rehabilitation Services | Western Cape Government

Rehabilitation Services


Physically and/or mentally disabled adults and children can be helped to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric and social functional levels.

Rehabilitation services are geared for people with medical, post-surgical, post-trauma, neurological, orthopaedic, musculo-skeletal and other conditions. These include burns victims, head injuries, strokes, trauma, hand injuries, amputation, respiratory, cardiac and other disorders.

The service is essential but is not extensive and fails to reach many people in need due to a lack of resources. Most public sector services are based in hospitals and special schools, with few services available at community levels. Most of the services are urban based with 19% or less of rehabilitation staff working in rural areas beyond the Cape Metropole.

Available Services:


Primary level and step-down rehabilitation services 

Primary level rehabilitation services are limited to certain community health centres and district hospitals. For more information about available services, phone the regional rehabilitation managers at the following numbers:

  • Worcester Hospital: Mrs Elbie Vosloo
    Tel: 023 348 1113

  • George Hospital: Mr Michael Vonk
    Tel: 044 802 4534

  • GF Jooste Hospital: Mr Lesli August
    Tel: 021 690 1004

  • Helderberg Hospital: Dr E Erasmus
    Tel: 021 850 4700

  • Karl Bremer Hospital: Dr Linda Naude
    Tel: 021 918 1223

  • Paarl Hospital: Dr Breslau Kruger
    Tel: 021 860 2501

  • New Somerset Hospital: Dr Donna Stokes
    Tel: 021 402 6408

  • Victoria Hospital: Mr Bevan Masheti
    Tel: 021 799 1121

However, all clinics do routine developmental screening for babies and toddlers. When there is a suspected mental or physical disability, the child will be referred to a specialist clinic at secondary or tertiary level. At the same time, the child will be referred to a rehabilitation professional, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, at primary health care level where available.

In addition to initial screening with subsequent referral, rehabilitation at this level is primarily focused on the management of acute conditions, home-based visits, the training of family and care givers, screening for disability grants and consultation with NGOs, support groups, schools and creches.

Booth Hospital in Cape Town and Life Care in Pinelands make provision for low-intensity rehabilitation and step-down care, while services for children are available at Sarah Fox and Maitland Cottage, which is also in Cape Town. Clients will be referred to secondary or tertiary level care if necessary.

Secondary level rehabilitation services 

Secondary level rehabilitation services are for people with a temporary/more permanent disability and are provided to a limited degree by various regional hospitals.

Rehabilitation for people who have had strokes, amputations or spinal injuries continues to be available at the new state-of-the-art, custom-built Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre in Mitchell's Plain.

Tertiary level rehabilitation services 

Tertiary level rehabilitation services are provided by Tygerberg Hospital, Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children's Hospitals and the psychiatric hospitals (Stikland, Lentegeur, Valkenberg and Alexandra Hospital), all in Cape Town. Groote Schuur Hospital provides ICU/high-care and acute stage management of people with a spinal cord injuries.

Occupational therapy departments at Tygerberg, Groote Schuur, Stikland and Lentegeur Hospitals provide some vocational rehabilitation. This involves mostly work assessment, which tests the readiness of clients to re-enter the open labour market after injury or illness. If they are ready they will become part of the hospital's vocational programme, which prepares them for basic work skills. If they are not ready, staff recommend they be placed in a protective workshop (sheltered employment), which falls under the provincial Department of Social Development and the National Department of Labour.

Specialist and academic rehabilitation 

The Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre in Cape Town is the only in-patient rehabilitation unit servicing the entire Western Cape Province and neighbouring provinces. 

This service provides a high-intensity rehabilitation service for physically disabled clients. There are specialised Outpatient Clinics for assessment and management of the client's rehabilitation needs. Clients are assessed from a bio psychosocial perspective and person centred management plans are recommended.

The Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre also plays an active role in building rehabilitation capacity through the training of health professionals.


People who are physically and mentally disabled must first check if there is a service at primary health care level. They'll be referred up the line when necessary.

If you're a first time visitor to a health facility, you will be asked to:

  • Fill out a form and a folder will be opened.
  • Your identity document (ID).
  • A referral letter from the clinic will be required when visiting a hospital.
  • Hospitals will ask for your most recent payslip/income assessment (IRP5).
  • Any medication you are taking at the time of your visit.
  • Clinic or hospital card if previously registered at the facility.
Provided At: These facility categories:
And these facilities:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)

If you are unemployed or dependent on any government grant, the service is free. However, if you are disabled or able-bodied but employed you will be charged according to your income.
Exceptions are made for those who earn a low income and cannot afford the medical expenses. To qualify you will need to produce a copy of your identity document (ID), most recent pay slip and an affidavit.

The content on this page was last updated on 24 July 2018