Who We Are

Our Information

Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Limited (“WHC“) is a wholly owned company of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (University) established to serve as a legal entity through which the University, and primarily the Faculty of Health Sciences, can conduct contract or sponsored research, entrepreneurial and philanthropic funded activities and services (including clinical services).

Whilst WHC is a private company, it has been granted exemption from income taxation under Section 10(1)(cA)(ii) of the South African Income Taxation Act, this as its activities are ancillary and complimentary to those of the University, which is also an income tax exempt entity.

WHC has been structured on a divisional basis with the research entities operating as divisions, linked to the Academic Departments of the Faculty of Health Sciences. There are over 50 University recognized research entities which form the major divisions of the WHC.

Faculty members wishing to conduct activities within WHC form themselves into a research entity, which is operated as a division within WHC ‐ whilst still falling under the academic control of Faculty. The research entities are managed as independent divisions within WHC, each with their own management structures.

The primary role of WHC is to provide the governance, legal framework, human resource management and financial or grant management for the research entities.

WHC’s Board of Directors holds accountability for overall governance, overseeing systems of internal control, risk management, finance, and human resources. Sub‐Committees assist the Board in discharging its duties. Each sub‐committee acts within agreed, written terms of reference, and the chair of each sub‐committee reports at each scheduled Board meeting.

WHC has extensive experience in managing complicated sponsor funded contracts and activities.

By doing what we do well, we free up academics and researchers to do what they do best, we enable them to pursue specialist research in their respective fields of expertise.

In our two decades of operating, WHC has established a world-wide reputation for responsibly managing sponsor and commercially funded activities worth over USD72 million annually. WHC manages around 22% of the University’s total group income, with funding derived from leading international and domestic agencies, institutes, foundations, and donors. These include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Global Fund, Clinical Laboratory Services (CLS), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Wits Clinical Research and other sponsors.

Given our flexible structure, our trusted management, and our entrepreneurial approach, WHC harnesses the commercial potential of our scope of work by limiting any unnecessary or bureaucratic burdens. This enables clinical researchers and health academics to undertake ground-breaking projects and establish commercially viable operations. These include the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, which was first incubated within WHC, and the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute.

At WHC, we seek to provide a fertile breeding ground for globally influential initiatives and to establish ourselves as key co-ordinators linking specialist researchers with some of the world’s top donors, sponsors, and philanthropists. We also encourage our research entities to grow their sphere of influence and form strategic alignments to expand our services beyond South Africa, to benefit other universities in Africa and to enhance lives around the world through the important work we support.

our services

WHC provides world-class administrative support to its divisions through a wide range of Shared Services Centre functions. Our skilled teams have acquired extensive knowledge and experience, enabling WHC to manage complex projects professionally and efficiently. Accessible representatives, a commitment to service excellence and quick turnaround times are just some of the traits that have established WHC as a trusted, reputable and value-adding business.

stakeholders information

As a wholly-owned company of the University of the Witwatersrand, the Wits Health Consortium has various stakeholders including university management, academic faculties, Health Sciences researchers, donors, sponsors and funders. With income in excess of R1 billion annually, accounting for approximately 22% of the university’s total group income, it is imperative that the WHC provides service excellence, cost-effective support and trusted financial management.

our divisions

The Wits Health Consortium (WHC) operates a Shared Services Centre (SSC) to support various divisions that operate within WHC. Members from the University of the Witwatersrand’s Faculty of Health Sciences create these divisions by forming ‘syndicates’ or research groups. Academically, these syndicates fall under their relevant university department but they are viewed as independent divisions of the WHC and managed according to criteria set out by the syndicate directors.