The maternal healthcare landscape around Grabouw, South Africa: Setting the stage for information systems development


  • Siphokazi Tswane Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Mikko Korpela Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  • Doreen KM M’Rithaa Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Stellenbosch University
  • Boniface Kabaso Cape Peninsula University of Technology



Background and Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to depict the most essential aspects of the “landscape” of authorities, organizations and service flows related with maternal healthcare from the viewpoint of the local communities in the small town of Grabouw in Western Cape, South Africa. Understanding the wider landscape is needed for understanding the “close-up” view of the maternal healthcare services and activities in place in Grabouw, which in turn is a prerequisite for co-designing ICT based tools for the caregivers.

Methods: The methodology for depicting information systems landscapes was applied in guiding the data collection and in analyzing the data. Data was collected from public sources (government documents, web sites, literature) and from administrators and educators with general knowledge..

Results: The geo-political structure around Grabouw consists of municipalities, districts, and the province of Western Cape within the republic of South Africa, all of which have elected structures with overall political authority. The structure of healthcare authority differs from the structure of political authority – the provincial Department of Health and not the local municipality is in charge of all healthcare facilities. The flow of healthcare services beyond Grabouw is defined by the referral system, which in principle is aligned with the political structure but is adjusted to particular geographic factors. Within the Grabouw community the service flow is guided by proximity of care and the preferred services.

Conclusions: The results show that it is vital to understand the ‘healthcare landscape’ and the context around maternal care in Grabouw. There is an overlap of geo-political and healthcare authority structures, and information systems developers need to aware in order to develop useful, effective and efficient ICT solutions. The landscape model has proven to be successful in understanding the different elements of a ‘landscape’ around a community.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

  • Siphokazi Tswane, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

    Lecturer, Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Informatics and Design



Korpela, M., Luukkonen, I., de la Harpe, R. 2008. Depicting the Landscape around Information Flows: Methodological Propositions. Proceedings of SIG GlobDev’s First Annual Workshop. Available from:

Bamford, L. 2012. Maternal, newborn and child health: service delivery. SAHR 2013/13

South African Info. 2010. Healthcare in South Africa. Available from:

Van Zyl, I., de la Harpe, R. 2013. Prioritising University-Community Engagement in North-South Research partnerships. SANORD International Symposium 2012. Cape Town.

Palmen, M. 2013. Midwives, Families and Everyday Health Information and ICT Interactions. Dissertations in Social Sciences and Business Studies No 71

The Cape Meandor. 2014. The Cape Meandor - Botrier, Caledon, the Elgin Valley. Available from:

Korpela, M., Mursu, A., Soriyan, A. 2001. Two times four integrative levels of analysis: A framework. In: Russo, N.L., Fitzgerald, B., DeGross, J.I. (eds) Realigning Research and Practice in Information Systems Development: The Social and Organizational Perspective, pp. 367-377. Boston: Kluwer Academic.

Luukkonen, I., Toivanen, M., Mursu, A., Saranto, K., Korpela, M. 2013. Researching an Activity-Driven Approach to Information Systems Development. In: Cruz-Cunha, M.M., Miranda, I.M., Gonçalves, P. (eds) Handbook of Research on ICTs and Management Systems for Improving Efficiency in Healthcare and Social Care, vol 1, pp. 431-450. Hershey (PA): IGI Global.

Bowen, G.A. 2009. Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal 2(9).

Schoeman, K. 2007. Early slavery at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1717. Pretoria: Protea Book House.

Frith, A. Census 2011 - Main Place “Grabouw”. [Online]. Available from:

Western Cape Government. 2010. French Government Donates R13 Billion for Grabouw Community Health Centre Upgrade. [Online]. Available from:

Western Cape Government. 2006. Handbook for Municipal Councillors. [Online]. Available from:

National Department of Health (DoH). 2013. Healthcare facilities in Overberg. [Online]. Available from:

Mediaclub South Africa. 2009. Healthcare in South Africa. [Online]. Available:

Cullinan, K. 2006. Health services in South Africa: A basic Introduction. Available from:

Van Zyl, I., Pennanen, M. 2013. Service design as an approach for envisioning e-health solutions: Mapping the context of development in Grabouw, Western Cape.

Western Western Cape Government. 2013. Maternal Healthcare Services. [Online]. Available from:

South African Professional Practitioners Forum (SAPPF). 2013.South African Healthcare Sector.

Western Cape Government. 2012. Department of Health Budget Speech 2012 [Online]. Available:




How to Cite

The maternal healthcare landscape around Grabouw, South Africa: Setting the stage for information systems development. (2015). Journal of Health Informatics in Africa, 2(2).

Most read articles by the same author(s)