Msunduzi: Mayor has shares in group planning private facility

2008-04-09 00:00

A PRIVATE hospital valued at over R196 million is on the cards for the Edendale area on a portion of the Mason’s Mill site and one of the directors is Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo.

A proposal by Edenvision Medical Holdings Limited was approved by the Corporate Strategic and Planning (CSP) committee yesterday. The committee will now forward their recommendation to Exco.

The proposed Eden Gardens private hospital would be the fifth in the city after St Anne’s Hospital, Medi-Clinic, Midlands Medical Centre and Daymed Medical Centre, all located in the city centre and eastern suburbs. It is hoped that the hospital will provide an economic injection to the Greater Edendale area and jobs for the surrounding residents.

The 130-bed facility will deliver private healthcare to those who can afford it among the Edendale population of about 250 000, and employ 20 managers and 253 operational staff.

The required site is five hectares from the intersection of Archie Gumede (formerly Newport) Road and Moses Mabhida Road on the Mason’s Mill site bounded by industrial development and the informal Slangspruit land in the buffer strip.

Edenvision has proposed to purchase the land for R5 million. The company was formed in 2006 by a group of doctors, among them Dr Bongani Hlatshwayo, the mayor’s late husband. The mayor has since acquired his shares.

The CSP committee had to rescind a council decision made in February 2006 that supported a presentation made by Sirius Development Foundation, headed by former national director-general for Public Works Sipho Shezi, to establish bank charter housing on the same site.

The Sirius Foundation lodged an application in November 2007 for the establishment of an integrated housing development on the land, but Edenvision was given preference by the committee as it has been granted a licence to establish a hospital by the KZN Health Department.

The Sirius Foundation made a bid to acquire developmental rights to the land, which was supported by council, but it failed to submit a development application within a specified timeframe.

“Let us take a decision that will bring development to the people of Edendale,” said CSP chairman Themba Zungu, in proposing the switch from Sirius to Edenvision.

He added that Sirius only recently said the housing development would include a medical hub with a private hospital and medical manufacturing and distribution warehouse. “They were not clear from the start that they wanted to establish a private hospital, which is why this confusion has occurred,” said Zungu.

“In the past we have given developers land to develop in Edendale and they have done nothing. Edenvision has a licence.

“Sirius has not applied for a licence to build a private hospital, so we don’t know what their intentions are … ,” said councillor Mergen Chetty.

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