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Can Traditional Healers Issue Sick Notes?

The situation regarding traditional healers and their ability to provide medical certificates for work-related leave is somewhat unique. The Traditional Health Practitioners Act of 2007 recognises and regulates traditional healers in South Africa. Traditional health practitioners, including herbalists, traditional birth attendants, and Sangomas, are recognised under this law.

According to the Traditional Health Practitioners Act, traditional health practitioners who are registered with the Traditional Health Practitioners Council can issue medical certificates. These certificates are recognised for the purposes of medical leave from work.

It’s important to note that not all traditional healers may be registered with the council, and only those who are registered have the legal authority to issue medical certificates. If a traditional healer is registered and issues a medical certificate, it is advisable to check with your employer to ensure they accept such certificates. Only traditional healers who are certified to diagnose and treat patients and who are registered with the THPC may issue medical certificates.

In general, South African labour law recognises the importance of accommodating traditional beliefs and practices, and employers are encouraged to respect and consider the cultural diversity of their workforce. However, it’s crucial to communicate openly with your employer and HR department, and to ensure that any medical documentation provided, whether from a traditional healer or another healthcare professional, meets the requirements set by your workplace policies..