About Us


To achieve a better life for all those affected with arthritis.


To enable those with arthritis to live a valuable life in all its dimensions through increasing awareness, providing education and offering support.

The Arthritis Foundation of South Africa is the only body in our country providing non-medical support for arthritis patients, their families and carers. To do this we are involved in a wide range of education and support programmes, in providing access to information about these diseases, and by advocating the interests of people with arthritis in government, medical and media circles.

The services we perform therefore fall quite naturally into certain categories:

  • Education
  • Support
  • Information
  • Advocacy
  • Lay arm of professional medical bodies

Together with correct medical treatment, having the confidence to take personal control of your illness, has been shown many times to be the most important factor in restoring quality of life for people with arthritis. Therefore, in everything we do, we put the emphasis on building the individual's capacity for managing their own disease.

Arthritis Foundation Programmes


We run a number of educational programmes:

  • Kate Lorig self-help empowerment course
  • Informal and formal talks to special interest groups
  • Lectures by professional medical people and experts in other relevant fields
  • Awareness Days


  • Living Life and Loving It Programme - general arthritis self- help support groups in many centres around South Africa.
  • Ad hoc support networks for specific forms of arthritis.
  • COPE - Community Outreach Programme for Empowerment operating currently in Soweto, New Crossroads and Michael Maphongwana Day Hospital (Khayelitsha) Cape Town. Although at different levels of development in different centres, the programme includes clinic visits in hospitals big and small, exercise classes, talks, support groups and counselling.
  • Shop - Various assistive devices for easier living such as openers for taps, bottles and jars, our famous back cushions, exercise DVD, a library of relevant literature and our highly prized range of greeting cards and limited edition prints.


  • Leaflets on a wide range of different types of arthritis and rheumatism.
  • Arthritis Insight Magazine - published quarterly.
  • Website - www.arthritis.org.za
  • Social media - Twitter and Facebook.


By raising public awareness through the print and electronic media we aim to both educate the public about arthritis and raise the pressure on government and medical schemes to take a greater role in dealing with the treatment and costs of arthritis.


We advocate people-centred policies on arthritis in government, medical and media circles and do so by meeting with stakeholders, obtaining media publicity and being part of policy-making committees. At the same time we have to work hard to overcome the lack of knowledge about arthritis which exists for the most part among such groups. We are involved in several advocacy groups and we need your support, whether in principle or through getting involved. If you are interested in advocating the interests of people with arthritis, or are the victim of inadequate treatment, please contact us on info@arthritis.org.za or you may use our contact form found on the contact page. Many thousands of people with arthritis in South Africa are untreated, as they never get anywhere near the professional medical system and of those who do, few obtain the correct treatment due to the extreme shortage of rheumatologists in the public and private healthcare sectors. These people can receive help and advice from the Arthritis Foundation.

Lay arm of professional medical bodies

The work of the Foundation is an important adjunct to the professional services provided by doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and the like. Their contact time with patients is limited and their focus may be on only one aspect of patients’ problems. By referring patients to the Foundation the medical profession can ensure that patients are able to access ongoing support in all aspects of their lives.

How does the Arthritis Foundation of South Africa

Provide its services?

Funding - we are entirely privately funded, dependent solely on private sources:

  • Memberships - Our members are very diverse but united by their common concerns about arthritis.
  • Donations – from private individuals and organizations
  • Sponsorships – by commercial companies
  • Bequests – from individuals who leave either capital or income in their wills to ensure the work of the Arthritis Foundation of South Africa continues into the future.

Benefits of Membership are:

  • Receive our excellent glossy magazine Arthritis Insight quarterly
  • Personal invitations to interesting and informative functions
  • Improved quality of life through expert knowledge and pain management techniques
  • Improved medical treatment through supporting our advocacy programme
  • Significant discounts on all our courses and products
  • All for R150 a year. We have kept our membership price at almost the same level for more than 17 years.


The National Office is in Cape Town and supports branches in Johannesburg and Pretoria in Gauteng, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, Bloemfontein in the Free State, as well as in Cape Town and the Helderberg in the Western Cape.