”Be the difference maker.”

Khathutshelo Vincent Mphaga



Organisation / Company

Capricorn district municipality


Khathutshelo Vincent Mphaga, 32, is a registered independent environmental health practitioner with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. He is pursuing a PhD in environmental health, inspired by his participation in combating the Ebola outbreak of 2014. During the outbreak, he worked for Port Health, where he screened and educated travellers, a service recognised with a certificate of excellence from the department of health. In his current academic pursuits, his project investigates the potential link between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer risk among residents living near gold-mine dumps in Gauteng, particularly focusing on underprivileged communities.

Through his work, he has learnt that successful crisis response requires collaboration, whereby authorities work together to safeguard public health. While his interest lies in safeguarding public health during outbreaks and crises, his attention is also in sustainable agriculture and is focusing on developing a herd with minimal reliance on veterinary interventions. He envisions the field of environmental health will transition from a reactive, facility-centric model to a proactive environmentally focused approach to ensure a better future for South Africans.


  • PhD in Environmental Health, University of Johannesburg
  • Master in Public Health, University of Johannesburg
  • BTech in Environmental Health, University of Johannesburg
  • National Diploma in Environmental Health
  • Bachelor of Arts in Disaster and Safety Management, Lyceum College
  • NQF Level 5 Industrial Audiometry, University of Johannesburg


My experiences as an environmental health practitioner (EHP) transcend routine duties, reflecting a resolute commitment to safeguarding public health during outbreaks and crises. This dedication was exemplified during the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak. Working for Port Health, I screened and educated travellers, a service recognised with a Certificate of Excellence from the department of health. My multilingual fluency, honed through interactions with travellers from neighbouring countries, proved invaluable in this critical time.

Transitioning to the City of Johannesburg, my proactive approach continued. I participated in combating outbreaks of listeriosis and Covid-19, receiving recognition for my commitment. This dedication recently manifested during the December 2023 – March 2024 cholera outbreak. Notably, media-reported cases originated from areas under my purview. This highlights my ability to take initiative and excel even when faced with geographically concentrated outbreaks, ensuring the safety of communities entrusted to my care. These experiences demonstrate my exceptional adaptability and ability to thrive in challenging situations.

I consistently go beyond the expected to actively investigate and mitigate public health threats. Through my work, I’ve learned that successful crisis response requires collaboration whereby authorities need to pull together to safeguard public health. This collaborative spirit is central to my approach, ensuring the well-being of the people I serve.


My journey has been shaped by the guidance and inspiration of exceptional mentors. Among them is Professor Daniel Masekameni of Unisa. Professor Masekameni is a true academic juggernaut, whose professional and academic achievements have served as a constant source of motivation for me. His distinguished career spans institutions such as the City of Johannesburg, the University of Johannesburg, and the University of the Witwatersrand. Witnessing his dedication to public health across these diverse settings has instilled in me a commitment to having a positive impact wherever I work.

Professor Masekameni’s influence extends beyond his resume. His passion for environmental health and his dedication to mentoring have fostered my desire to excel both professionally and academically. He exemplifies the power of combining expertise with a commitment to guiding the next generation.

Interacting with Professor Masekameni has not only equipped me with valuable knowledge but has also ignited a fire within me to emulate his pursuit of excellence. He serves as a constant reminder that professional success can be achieved with a genuine desire to make a difference in the world. I strive to carry this message forward and I hope to inspire others in the same way Professor Masekameni has inspired me.