Mandela Children’s Hospital will welcome its first patient in 2016

The hospital will be one of five facilities in Africa that will be dedicated to saving the lives of children.

Construction still underway for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hopsital in Parktown on 22 April 2015. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund has applauded South Africans and the international community for funding one of the biggest children's hospitals in the Southern hemisphere.

The Nelson Mandela Fund visited the construction site in Parktown, in Johannesburg.

The hospital will be one of five facilities in Africa that will be dedicated to saving the lives of children.

The trust's Sibongile Mkhabela said the hospital was Madiba's dream for many years.

"It comes out of his experience with a child who was sick in a healthcare system and didn't survive."

Mkhabela said the facility would be kitted out with state of the art equipment.

"It will care for a child and change healthcare for the child."

The Nelson Mandela Fund already raised over R600 million towards the building of the hospital.

It says it hopes to welcome its first patient early next year.

In December, the R1 billion hospital received a R100 million pledge from charity organisation, Islamic Relief.

The hospital's construction site in March 2014. Picture: nelsonmandelachildrenshospital.co.za