WATCH: Tambo Memorial to undergo a R500m refurbishment

Concerned residents and some authorities have in the past called for the crumbling hospital to be built from scratch to ensure that it's on par with modern hospital infrastructure.

A long-awaited project to renovate the more than 120-year-old Tambo Memorial Hospital (TMH), to the tune of R567-million, was launched this week.

Representatives of the Department of Health, the SEO Independent Development Trusts and the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development officially handed the site to the appointed contractor, Base Major Construction, on May 14.
The ceremony, held at the hospital’s Langa Residence, was also attended by the hospital management team and other stakeholders, including Ward 32 Clr Marius de Vos.

Guests at the launch of the renovation project included Morewane Mfolo (TMH), Gilbert Mvubu (TMH), Ludwe Mlenzana (Base Major Construction), Semakaleng Mokoena (TMH), Zenzo Ndabula (CEO, TMH), Mbusowenkosi Mahlangu (DoH), Dr Ntombizonke Zwane (TMH), Mark Sun (director, Base Major Construction) and William Kaipa (IDT).

During the handover, Base Major Construction’s contract manager Ludwe Mlenzana pointed out that the project to renovate the hospital, formerly known as Boksburg-Benoni Hospital (BBH), was necessitated for two main reasons. Firstly, the infrastructure is very old and crumbling and secondly, the structural impact of the Christmas Eve 2022 gas tanker explosion on the hospital.

Giving a general overview of the scope of work, Mlenzana said the project entails a few primary components, which include the demolition of all existing asbestos structures, the erection of new buildings, namely the Gateway Clinic, a new waste management building, a decanting facility and a new mortuary, the refurbishment of the hospital blocks and the repair of all dilapidated structures.

The asbestos building housing the Gateway Clinic at the hospital will be razed and replaced with a brick and mortar building.

Hospital CEO Zenzo Ndabula said management and staff are grateful that the government is finally undertaking the upgrade of the hospital as they have waited a long time for this.
“We are looking forward to an improved facility and, as a result, improvement in our departments, wards and, in general, the way we deliver services,” said Ndabula.

“From the onset, we appeal to our clients to be patient and understand that this construction will affect workflow, so some inconveniences may be experienced. However, at the end of it all, we are all going to benefit from an improved hospital,” he said.
When asked about contingency plans to mitigate disruptions, Ndabula explained that the decanting phase will see services moved to other areas so that services can continue while work is in progress.
“There may be areas where it’s not going to be possible for the entire facility to be closed, so partitioning may be used.”

De Vos welcomed the new development, which he described as relief for the already overstretched facility.

Finally, work to give the decaying hospital building a facelift has begun.

“This project is long overdue. Since the Leeuwpoort housing development was launched about a decade ago, I’ve asked the developers how we are going to solve our health issues if we are building another 20 000 homes for thousands of people to come and reside in Boksburg.
“Is the hospital going to have the capacity to deal with our health challenges? Today, thankfully, this question is answered with the news of the renovation of the hospital,” said De Vos.

He pointed out that the project offers opportunities for local businesses and will provide immediate job opportunities for the unemployed.
“Six wards in Ekurhuleni will benefit from this construction project – wards 17, 21, 22, 33, 34, 93 and my ward, which the hospital falls under.
“Local economic development dictates that when a major infrastructure project of this nature takes place in any ward, wards within a radius of 5km should also benefit in terms of job and business opportunities.

Pro-Serve Consulting’s project managers Obakeng Ngele and Fumani Nkuna.

During discussions at the site handover meeting, key operational details were outlined, and it was agreed among all the parties that clear communication channels will be established to keep stakeholders informed about the progress of the refurbishment project.”

Concerned residents and some authorities have in the past called for the crumbling hospital to be built from scratch to ensure that it’s on par with modern hospital infrastructure.

The handover of the project was held at the hospital’s Langa Residence building.

Responding to a question during a 2015 media briefing when a raging fire gutted a storage facility at TMH and destroyed R7-m worth of medical supplies, the then Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said the department was considering rebuilding the hospital or renovating the existing structure.
It remains unclear as to what informed the government’s decision to now renovate instead of building a new hospital.

Built in 1905, TMH is one of the oldest hospitals in the region and caters for Boksburg and surrounding towns, including Benoni, Germiston and Kempton Park, including their townships and informal settlements.
Project Scope
The over half a billion rand project is expected to take an estimated 40 months to be completed, with August 2027 cited. It will be tackled in four phases:
Phase1: Primarily design and alteration work.
Phase 2: Primarily the construction of new buildings, which will start in November and continue until 2026.
Phase 3: Major alterations and the decanting of many of the existing facilities.
Phase 4: Refurbishment of structures that were used for decanting, as well as external works, including refurbishment of the existing parking area and construction of new parking areas, upgrading the access control at the main gate and other identified existing structural issues.

Also Read: DA’s oversight visit: Concern over Tambo hospital’s lack of staff, condition of building


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