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Legacy to make Madiba proud
Since Nelson Mandela was admitted at the Pretoria’s Med-Clinic Heart Hospital on
that cold winter’s night in June; the country and the global community has been on a
reflective mood.
This reflection has centred on what Madiba’s legacy is and how best we can
preserve his teachings, values and all that he stood for.
The admiration for the man transcends colour, boundaries, gender and age.
Maybe Madiba’s anti-hero stance makes him more loveable. When he chides us not
to refer to him as a hero and points out that he did not bring about the end of
apartheid by himself.
In a vainglorious world where everything is about ‘me, me, me’, Madiba’s humility
and commitment to the betterment of others remains inspirational.
The vigour and zeal shown by South Africans and people of the world during the
Nelson Mandela Day on his 95th birthday was something out of the ordinary. It
demonstrated the esteem people hold Madiba in.
But of all the things he would bequeath us when the inevitable finally happens; the
Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) has to be the most important one.
I would think, because of his supreme love for children; this would also be his
proudest milestone.
According to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the NMCH will cater for children
across Africa. This would ensure Madiba’s legacy extends far beyond this country’s
Furthermore, this would make childcare accessible to countries that would ordinarily
not have children’s hospitals near-by.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, further notes that there are only four children’s
hospitals in Africa to care for the health needs of about 450 million children. The
paediatric healthcare system in South Africa is behind all documented health-related
Millennium Development Goals to reduce child mortality.
The creation of a tertiary and quaternary paediatric facility is in line with the National
Health Department’s “Modernisation of Tertiary Services” plan. The establishment of
the hospital will further assist the government by freeing up much-needed funding
required for primary and secondary healthcare.
Moreover, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund says it aims the NMCH to be a
facility guided by a child-centred approach to specialised, paediatric care;
continuation of Mandela’s dream to make available world-class; health care to all
children in southern Africa; critical child healthcare resource; state-of-the-art
specialist hospital housing Centres of Excellence in Haematology and Oncology,
Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Neuroscience.
This, again, shows Madiba’s insight and leadership. The funding of this project is
projected at R1-billion for the first phase of 246-bed facility with an operating
expenses calculated approximately R530 million per year.
The operational costs will be covered by the National and Provincial Departments of
Health through its unique partnership with the NMCH. But because the NMCH is a
project of high magnitude, donations are encouraged and welcomed.
I would like to implore South Africans to show the same enthusiasm and drive we
have shown towards the Nelson Mandela Day towards ensuring that the Nelson
Mandela Children’s Hospital becomes a reality.
To ensure easy accessibility the hospital would be based in Gauteng; which is both
the economic hub of the country and the continent at large. Gauteng also houses
the majority of South African population.
To donate towards the building of the hospital, SMS “Gift” to 40301. SMS costs
R20.00. For more information visit www.
Vuyo Sabani
Works for the Communications Unit at the Gauteng Office of the Premier. He
writes in personal capacity.
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