Thea de Gruchy

Ms Thea de Gruchy

Doctoral Researcher
Institution: The African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand
Current Insitution Location: South Africa

Phone Number:  011 707 4045
Website: Go to website

School of Social Sciences, Room 2191, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand

Migration Health Research Area/Expertise
My chief research interest is around the development and implementation of policy in contexts in which multiple spheres of governance, from local state administration to intergovernmental and aid organizations, interact. My PhD research uses a case study of responses to issues around migration and health in Vhembe District, in South Africa, to unpack these processes.

Bordering Zimbabwe, a large number of Zimbabwean nationals arrived in the District between 2007 and 2009, fleeing either political violence or the effects of a crippling cholera outbreak. Many international organizations, including Medécins sans Frontières and the International Organisation for Migration, entered the district at this time in response to the developing crisis, and some stayed to implement interventions with identified vulnerable population groups, including migrant farm workers. Consequently, the governance and administration of the area have been informed by the constant movement of people and goods across the border and the ways in which service provision is challenged by this movement, as well as the involvement of non-state actors.

This project has allowed me to explore questions about policymaking and governance, critical humanitarianism, migration, health, and the organization of the agricultural sector in South Africa.

Research Focus/Expertise on Relevant Migrant Categories
Internal Migration
Migrant Workers (Adults)

International/Cross-Border Migration
Human trafficking (Adults)
International migrant workers (Adults)
Patient mobility across borders (Adults)
Seasonal farm workers (Adults)

Relevant Publications

Title Author Year Published Link to Publication
Exploring The Migration Profiles of Primary Healthcare Users in South Africa Vearey, J., de Gruchy, T., Kamndaya, M., Walls, H. L., Chetty-Makkan, C. M., & Hanefeld, J.

Relevant Projects

Title Year Published Region/Country Role in the Project Main Outcome Link to Study Reports and publications
‘The struggle over ideas’: Investigating how policy processes affect the health and wellbeing of migrant farm workers in Vhembe District, South Africa Southern Africa
South Africa
Principal Investigator
Migration and Health Project Southern Africa Southern Africa
South Africa
Research Staff
Migration, mobility and health in South Africa Southern Africa
South Africa
Research Staff Cross-border and internal migration is undertaken for a variety of reasons but is seldom exclusively to access health care. Barriers to health care differ across contexts (urban, peri-urban, rural, and cross-border) and communities (length of time in a community, language, etc.).