About us

Hope for the blind
The Hope for the blind Trust was established by ophthalmologists who worked and trained in the Limpopo province. Limpopo has a very high prevalence of cataract blindness. As a result, these ophthalmologists developed a passion for people of the Province who suffer from unnecessary cataract blindness. They are currently working either in the state or private sector and are supported by their amazing families in this new endeavour of faith.

The Need

The total backlog of people who can benefit from cataract surgery in the Limpopo province is estimated at 50 000. It is estimated that more than 10 000 people are blind in both eyes.

There are approximately 40 000 people with glaucoma in Limpopo. Intervention is required to prevent blindness in the estimated 36 000 individuals who still have vision.

Without treatment, 1200 to 2000 people with diabetic retinopathy will go blind in the province every year.

The Challenge

To solve the crisis of unnecessary blindness, society needs to find new forms of public health infrastructure. Hope for the Blind is pioneering a cross-subsidy model that can fulfill our community outreach mandate while simultaneously providing premium quality private health care. We believe the key to sustainable help for those in need lie in private sector innovation: the more value we can provide to our clients, the more we can help those in need.

Business Model

Our eye-care service model is unique within the South African context. This cross-subsidisation model enables us to serve patients with blinding cataracts across the entire socio-economic spectrum.

Patients from higher income groups or with medical aids will receive high quality care at standard rates. Our cost-effective management model and not-for-profit ethos then enables the subsidisation of patients from lower income groups.

A minimum of 60% of all Hope for the Blind cataract patients will come from lower income groups. These patients will receive high-quality care made possible by cross-subsidisation and donations.

Over the first five years of operation the eye unit will gradually decrease its dependence on donor funding until it is completely self-sustaining. At the same time the service offering will be extended to include other blindness preventing treatments such as treatment for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

The Team


Dr Frits Stegmann, Retha Stegmann, George, Johann and Ferdi.

Completed ophthalmology training at Medunsa in 1993. Previous head of Limpopo Eye Services from 1996 – 2010. Currently works as a consultant ophthalmologist at FH Odendaal Hospital, Modimolle. Special interest in small incision cataract surgery, paediatric cataract surgery and glaucoma surgery.

Dr. Philip Phatudi & Dr. Precious Phatudi and boys.

(Husband & wife dynamic duo)

Completed ophthalmology training in Bloemfontein in 2015. Currently work as consultant ophthalmologists in Protea Glen, Soweto and in Groenkloof, Pretoria. Special interest in cataract surgery and general ophthalmology.

Dr Rian Viljoen, Antoinette Viljoen and girls.

Completed ophthalmology training at Limpopo University (previously Medunsa) in 2012. Currently works as a consultant ophthalmologist at the Northcliff Eye Centre in Johannesburg. Special interests in retinal surgery and cataract surgery.