Item 794 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Red Cross Children's Hospital Fundraising Function

Identity area

Reference code



Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Red Cross Children's Hospital Fundraising Function


  • 1996-02-25 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

South African Government Information Website

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Red Cross Children's Hospital Fundraiser ; The search results on the South African Government Information Website date this speech as 25 Feb 1996 but the date on the actual speech is 25 Feb 1995. It is not known which is the correct year.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



Ladies and Gentlemen;
Friends and fellow South African.

The mention of the Red Cross Children's Hospital warms the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa and beyond our borders. They are the people whose children, relatives or friends have been cared for at the hospital. Its devoted and sophisticated care for severely ill children has made it a special place.

Our children embody our dearest hopes for a bright future in which the sufferings of the past will be dim memories.

That was also true for the South African Prisoners of War and Red Cross volunteers in the camps when they conceived the idea of building a Children's Hospital in memory of all those who suffered the ravages of World War II. For them, at one of the darkest and most destructive moments in history, this was the way to affirm humanity's capacity to build, to heal and to care.

Such was the power of that idea that ten years later, and with substantial contributions from ordinary people, the hospital was built.

And now it has become one of the most sought after institutions on the continent. It is known throughout the world as a centre of excellence for pioneering research and treatment of childhood diseases and as the premier centre of specialist paediatric training in Africa. Though located in Cape Town it has become a national and international resource, the only remaining dedicated children's hospital south of the Sahara.

It has been made what it is by dedicated staff motivated by that same love and hope which our children inspire in all of us.

Time and a chronic shortage of funds have however taken their toll on the buildings, infrastructure and equipment at Red Cross.

Democratic South Africa's commitment to making affordable health care more accessible to all makes the redevelopment and upgrading of the hospital's overloaded facilities even more urgent.

The initiative of the Children's Hospital Trust to raise redevelopment funds from business, the community and government is a shining example of the partnership on which our country's future depends. You have not sat back or thrown up your arms in despair at the challenge of having to raise R28 million. Instead you have become actively involved in our country's reconstruction and development.

The donations you have already received from business and the community show that, as with its foundation, the redevelopment of the Red Cross Children's Hospital is touching the hearts of our people. Some of you who are here today have already made substantial contributions to the fund-raising effort and we thank you on behalf of the Hospital Trust for your generosity.

I am encouraged as President of the ANC that members of the organisation in this area have also joined the efforts to bring success to this endeavour.

On the part of government the RDP, in recognition of the Hospital Trust's initiative, has decided to allocate R5 million towards the funds needed for the hospital's redevelopment. This will form part of the Department of Health's Clinic Upgrading Programme.

One of the first actions by South Africa's first democratic government, was the provision of free health care for pregnant women and young children. We did this because children are a priority in this country, and their health of supreme importance.

Let us all work together, government and the rest of society, for the good health of future generations. And may the Red Cross Children's Hospital become a reflection of our society's love for its children!

I thank you.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information Website. Accessioned on 18/12/06 by Helen Joannides




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places