New state of the art private hospital opens in East London

A new player in the Eastern Cape private hospital industry has opened the doors to its East London facility, the 150 bed Royal Buffalo Specialist Hospital.

The hospital is situated close to Frere Hospital and carries a price tag of almost R200m.

According to its administrator John Congo, this is the best and most modern hospital in South Africa.

Congo said he would be surprised if any other hospital in South Africa could match their buildings, facilities and brand new equipment.

As state facilities continue to fall apart due to a lack of maintenance, shortages and budget issues, healthcare continues to be a critical need not just in the Eastern Cape.

Royal Buffalo’s opening follows another hospital that is also due to open soon in Beacon Bay, Cure Day hospital.

The Life group is the leading private healthcare hospital provider in East London, with five hospitals under its care.

“I took the challenge of running RBSH because I want to have the opportunity of creating a culture of excellence for every patient,” Congo said.

“All our staff, and we now have 200 for the launch and will have 300 in a month or so, must buy into our goals of excellence in every facet.

“There are probably another 200 people working for our suppliers of goods and services, and I expect the same from them.”

RBSH is owned and managed by Africa Health Care (AHC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RH Bophelo Limited.

The group owns and manages 19 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the country.

Most are in Gauteng, but the Eastern Cape presently has only RBSH. Other hospitals are in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Free State, Gauteng and the Western Cape.

While AHC seeks to provide the broadest specialisation services, the end decision rests with the specialists who rent premises; they will establish surgeries where demand exists.

AHC itself does not employ specialists.

RBSH has been recruiting and training staff for some time.

Congo said there was no truth in the accusation that RBSH had been poaching staff from other hospitals with offers of higher salaries.

“Yes, we are paying people good salaries but I don’t think that is the attraction. I believe our salaries are fair.”

Why are some of the best people joining us? Because they want to work in a brand new hospital, with excellent innovation, good structures and culture, and a harmonious management style

He said RBSH cannot afford to pay over the top because that would have a negative impact on the bottom line.

“Why are some of the best people joining us? Because they want to work in a brand new hospital, with excellent innovation, good structures and culture, and a harmonious management style.

“We want to bring back dignity to the healthcare profession in East London.”

He said people who know about hospitals would be surprised by RBSH.

“We have designed this facility to be more efficient than most others. I believe that this hospital, in East London, is the best in the country.

“Take our maternity ward. We have put an operating theatre in the section, so in an emergency the patients and doctors have immediate access; no waiting time, or being pushed down corridors.

“Specialists don’t like waiting for a general theatre, and here they do not have to. We call it the mother and child unit and it is unique in this country, though Australia and the USA do have similar places.”

He said another feature of the hospital was that it has a separate paediatric intensive care unit.

He said no cost had been spared regarding spaciousness, from wards to offices and passages.

“We have purchased equipment that is the very best available.”

Doctors and specialists are not employed by the hospital, he said, which is a common practice for all leading private groups.

The practices are run by the doctors and they effectively rent their offices and surgeries from RBSH.

“My path to RBSH administration and management was not the traditional route. I am an electrical engineer and moved into production after qualifying.”

Congo, who was born and educated in the Congo, ventured into the healthcare industry when he joined Life Healthcare as a services manager in Cape Town and within 18 months was promoted to the head office in Johannesburg as a regional engineering manager.

His career took a turn away from engineering when he joined Clinix Health Group, and became a servicing manager, a job where he controlled every non-medical aspect of a hospital, right down to laundry and catering.

“This included buying and installing equipment.”


 Mbatha Walters and Simpson is delighted to have received the PMR.Africa 2023 Golden Arrow Award in the category of medium-sized quantity surveying companies. This is awarded in recognition of “Excellent” service, based on the results of a national survey conducted for best Quantity Surveyors in South Africa. 

This prestigious PMR.Africa Award marks the 22nd consecutive year of MW&S being voted among the top quantity surveying companies in this category. 

This Golden Arrow Award is reflective of our teamwork and unyielding resolve to provide ingenuity as well as reliable and innovative services in the built environment. 

We are humbled by the respondents that voted for us and are grateful for our clients, fellow consultants and the contractors that partner with us to create successful projects. This achievement is dedicated to our inspiring leadership and hardworking team that has supported our vision. 

Qinisani Mbatha 

Managing Director 


Dear Colleagues

At the recent annual event held in July this year, SAIBPP, in a historic move launched a first ever annual list compiled and published in celebration of 100 top Black
property industry players – the SAIBPP 100.

These players are considered by the organisation to be the sector’s most influential leaders and prominent personalities. They have made their name playing a key and impactful role across the entire spectrum of the property sector, and had been nominated for the SAIBPP 100 because they define the standard for others to follow. With blue-chip resumés, they set the bar for excellence both within their realm of influence and within the broader industry.

Outside of the general criteria of principal activity and presence within the property sector, to be eligible for consideration in the SAIBPP 100 of 2022 the nominees had to align with the following benchmarks.

  • have actively contributed to uplifting black people or are high achievers in a
    position of influence.
  • have pre-eminent status or possess the power to exert a real influence on the
    significant events of our time; or use their acquired power to shape and effect
    changes in the sector through their actions and example.
  • have transformed the world we live in through their ideas, talents and
  • have leveraged their status to bring attention to issues of concern which face
    the sector, or used their presence to bring about real and tangible change.

Even though influence is hard to measure, the SAIBPP 100 focuses on the most impactful individuals rather than the most popular or most powerful. Though some nominees may rarely be spoken about in public, if they have achieved pre-eminence or demonstrated real influence within the property sector, their nomination was considered deserved.

It is undeniable that appearing on the list is a highly-respected honour. As SAIBPP we recognize the harsh terrain that these black property professionals have had to traverse and the storms that they still weather even as we celebrate the SAIBPP 100 giants.

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Covid-19 (Corona Virus) Notification

Dear Clients & Colleagues

As our country works to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, we at Mbatha Walters & Simpson (MW&S) also acknowledge that the safety and well-being of customers and employees is always our priority. As a result, we are currently implementing several measures to ensure business continuity while limiting any impact on the service we provide to you and mitigating the risk and further spread of the coronavirus.

MW&S’ leadership team is actively monitoring the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 situation and is taking steps to mitigate the risk and further spreading of the virus.

Some of the steps that we are taking include amongst others:

  • Suspension of all non-essential face to face engagement, including: o Planning and site meetings of more than 5 (five) people, work events and non-essential travel.
  • o The MW&S team remain available via teleconference and virtual methods to participate where essential and in so doing provide project and business continuity.
  • Assisting employees – providing continuous education about importance of good hygiene and having structures in place for them to work from home should it be necessary.
  • Limited access of visitors to our working space i.e. MW&S Offices.
  • Suspension of all touch screen access controls and foremost maintaining social distancing.

The above measures in no way suggest that any of our employees have been infected or affected by the virus but we are being extra conscious of the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families, our clients, and the communities in which we operate.

We assure you that MW&S will maintain business continuity and that we remain available on all communication channels i.e. landlines, and mobile phones, and we also encourage virtual meeting technology to engage and support you during these trying times as experienced by our economy.

Our management and staff will continue to monitor this situation closely and communicate further as the need arises in order to ensure that we do everything possible for you, our clients and colleagues, as well as our employees and the community at large.

Yours sincerely

Managing Director

PMR.Africa Awards 2019 – Diamond Arrow Award

Once again we are delighted to be recognised by our valued clients and the rest of the industry who have collectively rated us first in the category of medium sized quantity surveying firms.

This year marks a 3rd consecutive year of MW&S receiving this Diamond Award. It is certainly an accolade worth celebrating.

We owe this award to our dedicated staff and their continued commitment and responsiveness to reliable and reputable service offering to our clients.

Mandela Day

On Mandela Day, MW&S and Rivoningo Consulting Engineers joined Kaya Cares (Kaya FM) at Entandweni Primary School in Zondi, Soweto, to hand over a container library.

Mbatha Walters & Simpson construction cost management

In the 70s and 80s the management of people within an organisation was dealt with by the “Personnel Department”, whose role was largely limited to recruitment, payroll and benefits.

In the 80s and 90s there was a growing realisation that people management had a more significant role to play and the concept of “Strategic Human Resources” emerged. The Personnel Department became known as the “Human Resources (HR) Department, and its role was expanded to include learning and development, organisational design and the development of “total remuneration” packages which included benefits, share options and bonuses, serving as a central point of communication for employee health and engagement. Heads of HR were recognised as critical contributors to business strategy and execution, and HR became seen as more than a business function.

While strategic HR remains a focus today, the concept of talent management has evolved as a means to tackle a new set of strategic issues, some of which include:
  • Developing managers and leaders better to reinforce culture, instil values and create a sustainable “leadership pipeline”;
  • Identifying competency gaps quickly to enable the delivery of training, e-learning, or development programmes to fill these gaps;
  • Managing people in a consistent and measurable way so that everyone is aligned, held accountable and paid fairly;
  • Identifying successors to key positions throughout the organisation to ensure that the organisation is highly flexible and responsive; and
  • Providing learning that is relevant, flexible, convenient and timely.

Today talent management provides a more integrated and direct approach to the collaboration between HR, performance enhancement and business management in real-time.

Within our own organisation, it is with delight that I introduce to you and welcome the following three newcomers:

Mr Roland Böhmer, who recently joined the company in the capacity of QS Consultant in the Durban office, will extend his role as acting Office Manager in Pietermaritzburg from 1 May 2017.

Roland brings with him an impressive and well-rounded record in the quantity surveying profession which spans over 37 years in all sectors of the built environment.

Roland looks forward to getting to know all of you, both old and new, and I’m sure given the opportunity you will also like to know more about him.

Thabo Litlhakanyane is a new Junior Quantity Surveyor starting out at MW&S. He brings with him a passion for construction and finance, an eagerness and willingness to learn, grow and mature into the construction cost management profession.

Dianne Radloff is the new Executive PA in my office.

PMR.Africa Diamond Arrow Award


have once again conducted an annual survey on quantity surveying practices in South Africa.

Respondents for the survey which included Architects, Consulting Engineers, Construction Companies and Property Developers, were requested to rate quantity surveying practices on a list of attributes which included budget/cost control, commitment, co-operation, responsiveness and timeous completion.

After receiving numerous awards over the years, including Diamond, Gold and Bronze Arrow, at the breakfast hosted on the 8th May, MWS achieved first place in the category of medium-sized quantity surveying firms, and were awarded the prestigious Diamond Arrow Award. The Diamond Arrow Award was first awarded to MWS in 2002, then again in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2011.

The management of MWS acknowledge that this and previous awards are only possible through the continued efforts and contribution of each employee who form the members of team MWS, and this achievement is in recognition of your efforts and support.

Well done to each of you and thank you for making this possible.

Company Announcement

Along a decent change
comes a challenging era for those that are left behind, however this is certainly not the case with our Durban office.

As from the 01st March 2015, David Griffiths, our long serving Director who has been manag-ing the office in Durban, has since retired his position as both a Director of the firm and office bearer of the Durban office. He has assumed a less demanding role of being a Consultant who will from time to time be at the office to assist with many of the current projects that are under administration.

For most of us still with the firm, we appreciate that we can still tap into his wisdom and invaluable insight in project cost control and management. The time that he has reluctantly, with much persuasion, apportioned from his retirement, will be used to validate a great deal of development of our staff and overseeing on the senior tier of the organisation.
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