by | Jan 18, 2017 |

Objectives of the Division

Objectives of the Division:

The main strategic drives this year:

  • Structural Influence
    • We will propose structural changes to allow student positions on committees of influence as to increase student perspectives in leadership within Psychology.
  • Student Societies:
    • We will encourage Psychology departments to support their students with establishing and/or improving a relationship with student-run psychology societies at universities
  •  Advocacy:
    • We will advocate for students on leadership platforms and engage with leaders in Psychology to enhance the knowledge of student concerns as well as involvement in paving a feasible way forward to remedy student issues, such as limited masters intake, viable options for Hons and mystification of the discipline
  • Research:
    • No change can take place without factual evidence-based research. In this way the society is also dedicated to collect information from students in order to put forward these findings to stakeholders who are able to make a markable difference for students.
  • Information dissemination
    • Our website will become the only legitimated hub for all Psychology based information for students, this way we seek to try to better inform students of the realities of being involved in Psychology and its implications.

Photo by: Shen Scott (

Photo by: Shen Scott (

Structure Organogram

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Current EC

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Contact Us


Chair: Mr. Shaun Nortjé

Vice-Chair (KwaZulu-Natal): Ms. Samantha Cockcroft

Vice-Chair (Gauteng): Mr. Hennie Nel

Vice-Chair (Eastern Cape): Ms. Onelihle Makedama

Secretary: Ms. Maham Hasan

Treasurer and Community Projects: Ms. Cecilia Steenkamp

Liaison (UP): Mr. Ryan Tehini

Liaison (NMMU): Ms. Zilondiwe Goge   

Liaison (UKZN): Ms. Vishanya Kasiram

Administrator and Marketing: Ms. Nicole van Niekerk

Member Benefits

Why become a Student Member?

At an Annual fee of R160 you can get:

  • Access to the SAJP
  • Affiliation with a student body that will represent and support
  • Support to psychology student structures at Universities
  • Connection with Psychology professionals and the academic field
  • Creating opportunities for students to gain necessary skills
  • Addressing student needs through round table and discussion seeking to solve problems creatively.

Divisional News


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Welcoming from the Student Chair


Dear Psychology Students

PsySSA was birthed as a few students coming together back in 2010 to discuss the issues that psychology students face which are, unique to students in psychology. This then grew into a fully-fledged division of PsySSA. It was only until recently thanks to Fatima Seedat the executive Director of PsySSA revived the Student Division in 2015 where myself was elected as Chairperson for the term. The student division had to start from the ground up putting structures in place that weren’t there previously. In one term the student division managed to list as the biggest division in PsySSA and received a commendation as the most improved division of PsySSA and we are still going strong.

Myself and the Executive Committee of the Student Division do not take the responsibility of running a National Student Society lightly. However, we cannot do it alone, and we ask that all our members engage with us as we advocate for students. Students I think are very much overlooked and their importance somewhat dismissed because they do not necessarily carry accolades, titles or major influence but students are the youth, and they are the future of our country and of the Psychology Discipline and should have a voice in shaping their future.

I wish you a prosperous year, and I sincerely hope that you will engage with us so that we can better serve you, work with us to achieve more so that together we can construct the Psychology Discipline that we and our children can be proud, to serve humanity and the people of our country. I implore you to study hard,  acquire good grades, review requirements for your courses and have detour options if you do not make 6-12 Masters selection. Most of all, enjoy your student life experiences, do not be anxious too quick, in life, nobody is getting out alive anyway. Make the moments count and in the seasons of your life enjoy each one because they are there to prepare you for the next person who you will become.

Shaun Nortje

PsySSA Student Chair

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PsySSA Student Division – HCWG
The Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG) Hate and Bias Crime Monitoring Research Project – PsySSA Students in action

The Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG), a multidisciplinary work-group formed in 2009, is conducting research in respect to the nature and psychological impact of hate crimes on individuals, communities and society. The group comprises of civil society organisations and other interested parties that play a role in lobbying government to develop interventions that will act against hate crimes in South Africa. The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) is a member of the HCWG Steering Committee since 2016 and also leads its research sub-committee.

Case data was gathered on hate crimes between January 2013 and March 2016 for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the nature of hate crimes, hate speech and intentional unfair discrimination in five provinces of South Africa. The second leg of field work starts in February 2017 and PsySSA Student Division members have gladly offered their assistance on multiple levels of the Hate and Bias Crime Monitoring Research Project.

The HCWG Research team, now with administrative assistance provided by PsySSA and research assistance by the PsySSA Student Division, has taken responsibility for the implementation of the baseline study into the nature, extent and impact of hate crimes.

Related training of the student volunteers took place at the PsySSA Head Offices in Oakhurst, Johannesburg from the 1st – 2nd February, with seven members of the Student Division represented. As the team moves across the country they will be joined by our regional representatives in their respective provinces. Our regional Director for the Western Cape, Mr Josh Yeatman has availed himself to help coordinate field work in the Western Cape from 20-23 February. We will also be joined from 6-9 March by Ms Kiransa Parusnath in KwaZulu-Natal and Regional Director Ms Onelihle Makedama in the Eastern Cape from 14-17 March.

The student division hopes that this initiative opens more doors for student members to assist on similar projects through PsySSA in the future.

PsySSA Student Division – Mentorship Programme

The mentorship program was initially started in 2016, by the student division’s chairperson, Shaun Nortje. At that point it was only to Grade 12 students who had an interested in the field of Psychology. This year however, we have extended the program to include university students who are studying a degree in Psychology, this includes any student from first year level to honours.

All mentees who make it passed the selection process, will be paired with a mentor from the Executive Committee of the student division.

The mentor will be someone who has the same interest in a particular discipline of psychology as the mentee, but has a higher qualification than the mentee.

The program is set to be an interactive year long program between mentors and mentees, facilitated by the mentorship coordinator. The mentees will receive coursework which will consist of 2 – 3 research assignments (on topics that will help them in later years of study), 3 mini activities relating to the field of psychology, their personal growth and understanding, it will also include a volunteering exercise where the mentees might possibly get some practical experience, all assessments will be marked by the mentors and moderated by the mentorship coordinator.

After completion of program the mentors and mentees will then be invited for a graduation day at the Psychological Society of South Africa’s Headquarters in Johannesburg.

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