Mbatha Walters & Simpson was established in 1934 as a partnership to provide construction cost solutions to the building and engineering industries. The company has over 80 years’ experience in a range of sectors including healthcare, commercial office developments, retail, industrial, educational facilities, residential projects and hotel and leisure developments.
We spoke to Mr Qinisani Mbatha, Managing Director of Mbatha Walters and Simpson, to find out more about their involvement in the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
What was your company’s role in the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) project?
Mbatha Walters & Simpson provided full quantity surveying and cost management services including the preparation of cost plans and estimates, value engineering, cost advice, administration and control, as well as the preparation of final accounts. We also provided lender’s consultancy services which included funding strategies, review and administration of donations, as well as the preparation and control of the enhancement budgets.
How did your company get involved in the NMCH project? When did you start working on the project?
As a result of our niche and expertise in hospital cost management gained over the years, Mbatha Walters & Simpson were short-listed in 2010 by an appointed architectural design team. Following a successful interview process with the Trust representatives, we were selected as the preferred quantity surveyors on the NMCH project.
How do you feel about your company’s involvement with NMCH?
Mbatha Walters & Simpson is proud and honoured to have been involved in such a prestigious project. It was a pleasure working with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
Has this project been any different from others Mbatha Walters & Simpson has been involved in? Were there any interesting challenges?
Although all projects are unique, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital tops them all in terms of diversity and exclusivity. Not only was the aim to deliver the project within budget (donor funding), but it was also to realise Nelson Mandela’s dream by providing a safe, comfortable and functional hospital for children in need of medical care and attention. One of the biggest challenges was securing the services of suppliers and subcontractors who were capable of producing and delivering some special and unique custom designs that the project required. With the assistance of the team this was made possible.
How did you formulate solutions for these challenges?
By thinking out of the box, through teamwork with all professional consultants and contractors and by always having the end goal in sight.
Is there anything related to your work on the project that made you feel proud?
It was going the extra mile, over above the duty of care that any consultant is required to provide in any building project. I am also proud of the invaluable cost advice and the partnering approach employed by the team that realised the project and fulfilled Madiba’s dream.
How do you personally feel about Madiba’s dream to build a child- centered hospital coming to reality?
Considering that there is limited healthcare in Africa which focusses on childcare, seeing the hospital coming to reality is an unforgettable experience.