Sha’ista Goga

Sha’ista Goga always fantasised about being a detective. Now, as an economist and senior researcher at non-governmental organisation Section27, although she isn’t solving crimes, she is always investigating ways to improve healthcare. Last year Goga published a report detailing issues faced by public hospitals in Gauteng, creating a public outcry that forced the provincial department of health to respond. Currently she’s advocating better standards in the public health sector and greater price regulation in the private sector. Goga excelled in her economics studies both at the University of the Witwatersrand and at Oxford, which set her up for the corporate world. She worked at Genesis Analytics until a stint as a volunteer in a Palestinian refugee camp changed her career path. Realising she needed to use her education to better society, she joined Section27 and started tackling healthcare policies, where “small changes can have significant benefits, since people are so vulnerable and directly affected by system weaknesses”. — Fatima Asmal