Developing health policies for the 'post-apartheid' era has become an urgent task of the early 1990s in South Africa. A neglected policy issue thus far has been the question of whether traditional healers have a role to play in future health care, and if so what this should be. Rather than developing positions on these questions, this paper sets out the main debates which need the consideration of health care planners. Arguments for and against traditional healers in health care are presented, and alternatives which could be chosen are outlined. Options adopted by countries on South Africa's borders, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland are briefly considered.