Dear Donors, Stakeholders, Partners and Friends
2013 has drawn to an end as one of the most poignant years in the history of our country, our organisation and our lives. The passing of our Founder, President and Father, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 05 December 2013, although expected, brought about a deep sadness and sense of loss on the one hand to us all but, at the same time, filled us with a profound gratitude and pride – appreciation that we could be part of the life of this great man and pride at how much we have achieved for children in his name and as part of his legacy.
The past year has seen the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital move closer to reality. The appointment of Mediclinic as the preferred bidder for the hospital operator took us one step closer to the day when the first patient would be admitted. It was through the engagement with Mediclinic and our discussions with Industrial Development Corporation that we were forced to revisit the design of the hospital to make it more affordable and, without changing the hospital’s footprint, we were able to reduce the cost of the actual building and equipment from R1 billion to R750 million. We acknowledge with gratefulness the work done by all the technical teams and our Steering Committee to ensure the planning stays on course.
Our fundraising team, under the guidance of the Trust’s CEO, Ms Bongi Mkhabela and through the support and on-going commitment of our Trustees and fundraising committee members, have worked tirelessly to garner support from donors both in South Africa and abroad. The result of this hard work is the swelling of funds raised to over R300 million, thus giving us the confidence to take that all important step to break ground. The major commitments from donors both here in South Africa and around the world have ensured that Madiba’s wish for the best healthcare for the children of Southern Africa becomes a reality, that the glaring need for another children’s hospital in Africa is addressed and that the best doctors and nurses are available to treat the children of this continent in a world class facility.
We too were deeply moved by individuals who, through their own resources, gave so generously over the year but even more so during our SABC telethon on the morning of 05 December 2013. The outpouring of so many South Africans was both heart-warming and
encouraging. Our schools continued to support the “For Kids for Kids” campaign and contributed generously to the campaign through their different and innovative activities, and they have pledged to continue to do so over the next year.
We are also grateful that the South African government remains committed to supporting the operating costs for the hospital and the budgeting process is currently underway to ensure the funds for operations are available when the hospital opens its doors in 2015.
Government, through the National Skills Fund, has further made a grant of R70 million available to NMCH to train paediatric nursing professional and the first intake of students has been completed and these nurses will commence training in January 2014.
Furthermore RMH Charities (South Africa) have remained committed to build, equip and maintain the Ronald McDonald family accommodation at the hospital and their interaction with our technical teams have positioned this accommodation on the upper level of the
hospital, overlooking Johannesburg.
The agreement between NMCH Trust, the University of Witwatersrand and the South African Government in respect of the land, training and staffing of the hospital has been concluded and the University continues to engage with our teams to ensure the hospital operates optimally.
This journey, and the reaching of all of these milestones come at a time when we, as a country, continent and indeed the world, must ensure that the legacy of Madiba lives on in a real and tangible manner – in the beginning of 2014, the 20th year of our democracy, the construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will begin. On behalf of our Chairperson, Mrs Graça Machel, and the board of Trustees,
I would like to wish you and your family well over the Festive Season and the very best for 2014.