South African construction firm Group Five has started construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital at Parktown, Johannesburg.

Set for completion in early 2016, the 200-bed hospital is expected to be a world-class, highly advanced specialised children’s hospital.

The paediatric hospital will employ 150 doctors and 451 paediatric nursing professionals and will be built next to the Wits University Medical School.

"We will be able to build and present to the public a fitting last legacy of this international icon."

The Wits Medical School would provide the hospital with academic teaching support that would help to enhance its operational efficiencies and staffing models.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust (NMCHT) is fundraising to reach a R1bn ($94m) target to build the hospital and train medical staff to work in it.

NMCHT deputy chairperson Nana Magomola said the project represents a key milestone in trust’s efforts to make Nelson Mandela’s last wish of building a children’s hospital in South Africa a reality.

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"We still have a long way to go, but we are confident that with the support of those who share this dream, we will be able to build and present to the public a fitting last legacy of this international icon," Magomola said.

Upon completion, the new hospital will provide services in the fields of haematology, oncology, pulmonology, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, neurosciences, craniofacial, nephrology and general paediatric surgery.