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The City of Johannesburg will, from Thursday 30 July, host the World Congress on Healthy Ageing at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The congress, the first of its kind on African soil, will bring together professionals and leading global specialists for discussions on how to address healthy ageing issues, specifically focusing on the continent.

Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau will deliver his keynote address to the Conference on Friday.

The City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development, Councillor Nonceba Molwele, will introduce the congress to more than 1 500 delegates from all around the world.

Supported by the City and other organisations, the four-day congress is one of the major gatherings to be staged in the global events capital this year.

Justin Hawes, Director of the Healthy Ageing Society of Africa, said the international gathering would not only bring significant revenue to the city but would also go a long way towards spreading the word about the benefits of hosting such a major event in the country.

“People who will benefit from the event include medical and healthcare professionals, academics, caregivers, legislators, community service personnel, city planners and people interested in the science of healthy ageing,” said Hawes.

High-profile South African speakers – including Professor Tim Noakes, head of the Sports Science Institute at the University of Cape Town – have also been lined up to address the congress.

This year’s theme is “Bridging the Ageing Divide”.

Prof Tim Noakes, South Africa’s own guru on the Low Carb High Fat diet, will share the stage will well-known sports personalities such as soccer analyst Marks Maponyane, rugby icon Joel Stransky and distinguished cricket administrator Dr Ali Bacher.

They will be among more than 80 speakers who will address several workshops over the four days. The symposium will tackle sub-themes such as mind, body, spirit, and socio-community and future medicine trends for people over the age of 50.

The keynote address will be delivered by Malebona Precious Matsoso, the Director-General of the Department of Health, after which the congress will split into parallel presentations on topics such as growing old and living longer; poverty and associated risks due to migration; disability and family nuclearisation; safeguarding the elderly person and the caregiver; growing older while staying younger without Botox, Prozac or Viagra; and the link between ageing, depression and cognition.
Other confirmed speakers include:

Dr Yen Choo, molecular biologist and member of the UK Stem Cell Steering Committee;
Prof Suresh Rattan, head of the Laboratory of Cellular Ageing of the Department of Molecular Biology at the Aarhus University in Denmark;
Prof Bradley Wilcox, a well-known physician-investigator in geriatrics;
Prof Melvyn Freeman, Chief Director for Non-Communicable Diseases at the National Department of Health; and
Prof Sean Davison of the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape.
The congress is also supported by Alzheimer’s SA, Dementia SA, South African Society of Psychiatrists, South African Neurological Rehabilitation Association and the Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society.

For more information on the congress go to