About Us

The PRETORIA COCHLEAR IMPLANT UNIT (PCIU) is Pretoria’s first private hearing implant unit, associated with the University of Pretoria. The PCIU provides the full range of implant and hearing related services for children and adults.

The PCIU was established with the vision to offer a personal and professional hearing service. The PCIU strive to create an environment that revolves around the person. The PCIU team consists of compassionate and experienced professionals and staff that deliver personal service, and ongoing support to experience success with better hearing.

For those individuals and their families that is affected with hearing loss, the PCIU team offers the specialist, multi-disciplinary assessments, medical procedures, cochlear implant activations and programming (and other treatment options) as well as the rehabilitation required.

The PCIU is fortunate to be associated with an academic institution and collaborates in research projects. In doing so, our protocols and standards are according to internationally acknowledged criteria.

History of the Team

Cochlear implantation in South Africa commenced in November 1986.

In 1990 Professor Johannes G. Swart, former Head of the Ear-, Nose- & Throat Department of the University of Pretoria established “The University of Pretoria Cochlear Implant Unit (UP-CIU)”.

The first two adults were implanted in 1991. In 1992 the first children were implanted.

Since then, patient numbers have been steadily increasing as technology and selection criteria changed over the years. UP-CIU is now called the PRETORIA COCHLEAR IMPLANT UNIT or PCIU.

The PCIU has performed more than 700 implants.

There are currently 9 different cochlear implant centres available in South Africa, of which the PCIU is the second largest. Approximately 2000 cochlear implants have been performed in South Africa up to the beginning of 2016.

The PCIU is delivering services as a large cross-disciplinary team in different sites of the Pretoria area. Although the research for the unit is part of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology of the University of Pretoria, the team members are private health care providers. Operations are performed at two private hospitals in Pretoria and mapping and other audiological services are performed at the PCIU on location in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. PCIU is also involved in student training and assists with research initiatives by the Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology and the Department of Bio-Engineering.

Cochlear implantation requires a unique combination of technology, skills and long-term support provided by a multi-disciplinary team. Our background in research and development within the field of cochlear implantation, and in the service partnership we foster with local services in supporting our patients, has built up a national and international reputation for excellence in cochlear implant service provision.

We aim to provide lifelong support for our patients, both present and future.

Meet the Team



Nicolize Cass


Marinda Beukes


Tania Swart

Ear-, Nose- & Throat specialists


Dr E Burden


Dr A Smit


Dr M Maseko


Dr L Hofmeyr

Speech Therapists


Karin Weinmann


Estienne Havenga


Isabel Schimper



Tania van Huyssteen


Brenda Schmid
Teacher of the Deaf


Elize Zybrands
Administrative Assistant


Contact Details

Pretoria Cochlear Implant Unit
University of Pretoria (Main Campus)
c/o Lynnwood Road and Roper Street
Communication Pathology Building, Room 3-32

Tel Office: 012 420 3684
Email Office: ptacoch@up.ac.za