About Us

The South African First Aid League (SAFAL) was founded in April 1935 with the purpose of providing first aid training to the community at large, specifically in their mother tongue. This mission was extended to include provision of first aid assistance at sport and other community activities.

The organisation is based on a constitution, making provision from an executive committee, senior management, regional management, branch management and members.

This national organisation has a countrywide infrastructure that is controlled from its head office in Centurion. Administrative control is exercised by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) who reports to an Executive Committee.

SAFAL is registered with the Department of Labour (CI BIG 3-03) and is also fully accredited with the Health and Welfare Seta (HW591PA1006262) as a service provider for first aid.

We also abide by current guidelines laid down by the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa.

SAFAL is very meticulous to comply with the minimum requirements as laid down because it forms the cornerstone of quality training.

Our Mission

  • to simplify first aid
  • to provide relevant and up-to-date first aid information to the public
  • to train first aiders according to the guidelines laid down by the Department of Labour, the HWSETA and the Resuscitation Council of South Africa
  • to train competent first aid facilitators
  • to provide Regulation 7 first aid kits (boxes and bags)
  • to provide first aid at events
  • to organise and facilitate first aid competitions to ensure that first aid skills are laid down and practised

Our History

The South African First Aid League was the brainchild of Mr George Annandale Nezar, who in 1934 realized that his mother tongue, Afrikaans should be recognized as a language medium in which basic first aid skills could be taught to South Africans.

The Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV), at their sixth annual Congress on the 17th of April 1935, decided to initiate their own first aid movement. The first branch of the League was founded in Bloemfontein on the 9th of August 1935. In 1954, the South African Railways recognized the organisation as an official first aid training institution for their employees.

Mr. George Nezar edited the first manual of the organisation and the first medical text of its kind in Afrikaans, which was published in 1938 with Dr H J Steyn as medical advisor. The manual was updated regularly, keeping up with the latest developments in first aid. As membership numbers grew in the 1950’s, the diversity of members requiring first aid training in their mother tongue brought about another milestone in South African medical text history:  the publication of first aid manuals in Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Venda and Tsepedi.

SAFAL became an independent, non-profit organization in 1943.

Today SAFAL provides first aid training in Afrikaans and English in 9 regions throughout South Africa. Our first aid manuals are written by Prof. Oppel Greeff who is also the President and immediate past Chief Surgeon of SAFAL. The current Chief Surgeon, Dr. Reynard Knoetze, together with the Chief Operating Officer, Mrs Joke Wandrag, ensure that the textbooks and courses meet local requirements and are in line with international standards.

Prof. Oppel Greeff – President

Dr Reynard Knoetze – Chief Surgeon