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Andiswa Lefakane, Egoli Chapter Chairperson

EAPA-SA’s Egoli chapter has been in operation since EAPA-SA launched. It was the first chapter launched and it was started with all the members based in Johannesburg.  The current Chairperson, Andiswa Lefakane, is a qualified Social Worker and HR Practitioner with a Masters in SWK (Employee Assistance Programmes). She is an Executive Director and a shareholder at People’s Health Providers, a primary healthcare and employee wellness organisation in Boksburg, Gauteng.

As a Social Worker, Andiswa has worked for organisations such as Kwa Ndebele government and NICRO.   She has worked as an HR Practitioner for organisations such as Unilever, New Age Beverages Pepsi, MNet, SA Express Airways and Transnet. She left formal employment in 2015 as a Manager for EAP, Change Management and Organisational Culture at Transnet. She is also a qualified coach.

Egoli has a membership database of 173, with an even split between ‘in-house’ EAP Practitioners and service providers.  Within their specific geographical location the chapter’s members are predominantly from the public sector, followed by state owned enterprises and a growing private sector and private practice base respectively.

EAP needs in Gauteng are predominantly influenced by the lifestyle of the Province”, says Mrs Lefakane.  “Gauteng is an economic hub with a highly pressurised culture, so there is prevalence of stress related issues, affecting the overall welfare of the employees in areas such as health, finance and family. Along with elevated levels of personal stress over the past 12 – 18 months, it has been noted that employees also have also experienced an increase in Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle.  This then precipitates other health problems that contribute negatively to behaviours like absenteeism, presenteeism, and incapacity problems.  Further, as employees are mostly desk and office bound, and not engaged in ‘hard, physical labour’ they tend, also, not to be focussed on pro-active exercise to mitigate the negative stress levels. This calls for a drive for EAP programmes that seek to address employee work-life balance. There is a noticeable growth and a stronger focus on pro-active employee engagement within the workplace in Gauteng as a result of organisations seeing the importance of educating their employees about lifestyle and psycho-social issues.  Organisations are also starting to put together annual wellness strategies that focus on multiple wellness issues which are prevalent in the workplace.

Egoli holds events that respond to the needs of different sectors within the chapter such as ‘Powered to empower’ breakfast sessions for the people in private practice, and ‘Practising with a Purpose’ – a seminar for the EA practitioners. The chapter, post-conference, offered 3 topics: Absenteeism and Incapacity, E- learning, and Spiritual Wellness for all the members who were not able to attend the conference.

To visit the chapter or contact the Chapter Chairperson, please visit their page https://www.eapasa.co.za/egoli-chapter/