Growthpoint group chief executive Norbert Sasse (second from left) and Growthpoint South Africa chief executive Estienne de Klerk (extreme right) with Dr Herman Kluge (extreme left) and Dr Sarel Botha, the two main medical super specialists that were responsible for the strategic positioning of the Pretoria Head & Neck Hospital, at a sod turning ceremony for the construction of the hospital.
JOHANNESBURG - Listed Growthpoint Properties has begun development of a R450million specialised head and neck hospital in Pretoria, the first of its kind in Africa.

The development is also the first greenfield project to be embarked upon by Growthpoint Healthcare Property Holdings, one of Growthpoint’s newly-established fund management businesses.

Growthpoint head of corporate finance George Muchanya said yesterday that Growthpoint Healthcare Property Holdings’ investment mandate allowed it to invest in greenfield investments, thus playing a leading role in promoting the growth of the healthcare sector by providing the capital to build new facilities.

“Growthpoint Healthcare is in an exciting growth phase and we are increasing its scale through asset acquisition as well as specialised developments. Partnering with Cintocare provides Growthpoint Healthcare the opportunity to own this world-class hospital on completion,” he said. The sod-turning for the new 11000m2 special surgical Pretoria Head and Neck Hospital in the Menlyn Maine precinct in Pretoria was being developed by Growthpoint and Cintocare.

Their aim is to create a clinical centre of excellence that focuses exclusively on the head and neck, spinal and vascular surgery with highly specialised medical professionals and state-of-the-art technology.

The 100-bed hospital, with the capacity to expand to 160 beds, will comprise seven floors, the hospital plant room, five theatres, three clinical and consulting levels and three parking levels that would provide 335 parking bays.

Bulk earthworks for the project have already been completed, with construction scheduled to commence next month and the building to be completed during the first quarter of 2020.

Last year, Growthpoint said that it was launching a Healthcare Fund that would own properties worth in excess of R2billion.

Chief executive Norbert Sasse said Growthpoint had acquired five properties collectively worth R2.4bn for the Healthcare Fund, but highlighted that the three major private hospital groups did not want to sell their properties and enter into leaseback arrangements.

Sasse said the groups could not obtain new hospital licences because of competition issues and a drive by the medical council to stimulate market competition by offering licences to previously disadvantaged groups.

He said Growthpoint would look to sell down its position in the Healthcare Fund by getting third-party investors to invest, but were targeting to grow the fund to R5bn over the next two years, with an eventual target of possibly between R7.5bn to R10bn. Growthpoint has also launched an Africa Fund, which has a mandate to acquire property assets largely in East and West Africa.

- BUSINESS REPORT