Strengthening the biokinetics workforce for improved services: A human resources for health review from 2000 to 2020




Background: Biokinetics is a South African (SA) health profession within the private health care sector. Biokineticists register with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

Objectives: To describe the demographic trends of HPCSA registered biokineticists from 2000 to 2020 to understand the supply and status of human resources for health within the profession.

Methods: The following data were collected and analysed: i) health personnel category, ii) geographical location, iii) age, iv) sex, and v) population category.

Results: The number of HPCSA registered biokineticists grew from 136 in 2000, to 1831 in January 2020 (67.8% women, 32.2% men). There was a sharp decline in numbers after the age of 45 years. The Western Cape (5.8) and Gauteng (5.1) provinces had the most biokineticists per 100 000 of the population, whilst smaller provinces like Kwazulu-Natal (1.6), Mpumalanga (1.6), North-West (1.6) and Limpopo (0.9) lagged. The demographic profile of registered Biokineticists changed steadily from 2000 to 2020. Registered biokineticists classified as White decreased from 91.6% to 80.4%, whilst substantial increases were observed among Black (5.0% to 8.3%), Coloured (0.02% to 5.3%) and Indian/Asian (0.02% to 6.0%) biokineticists. Thirteen tertiary institutions offered Biokinetics programmes in 2022. Seven offered the 3+1-year (Honours) programme and six have migrated to a 4-year professional degree.

Conclusion: The profession is well established, growing, and dominated by women. The demographic profile has transformed steadily; however, the need to transform the profession remains strong. Strengthening investments aimed at the employment of biokineticists in the public health sector may serve as a key turning point for healthcare workforce planning. 


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Ritika Tiwari, Stellenbosch University

Dr Tiwari conducted the study whilst at Stellenbosch University. She is currently affiliated to:

a Centre for Professional Workforce Development, Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom

b School of Human Sciences, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom

Heinrich Wilhelm Grobbelaar, Stellenbosch University

Department of Sport Science

Senior Lecturer

Candace Vermaak, Stellenbosch University

Please note that the Department of Sport Science has undergone a restructuring. A name change for the Department and various Divisions is being finalised. I will update as soon as possible.




How to Cite

Tiwari, R., Grobbelaar, H. W., Vermaak, C., & Chikte, U. (2023). Strengthening the biokinetics workforce for improved services: A human resources for health review from 2000 to 2020. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(1).