Philanthropist gives children's hospital a R37m boost

15 September 2015 - 02:24 By Farren Collins


Inspired by the memory of his friend, an Italian businessman is giving the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town a financial boost. Through his Quercus foundation, philanthropist Diego Biasi has a three-year plan which will see R37-million handed over to the Children's Hospital Trust.Today he will start by giving the trust R10-million for upgrades in the intensive care unit which will nearly double its capacity."Last year, my friend and business partner, Simone Borla, died and I decided to start the project in his memory," said Biasi. Borla came to South Africa annually for his holidays.Children's Hospital Trust spokesman Chantel Cooper said the money would help to provide world-class health care for a quarter of a million patients a year."Four isolation units will be developed, reducing the risk of cross-infections for children with compromised immune systems... [and we] will see the 22-bed capacity increased to 39 bed spaces."Biasi is in Cape Town with the former wife of hotel mogul Sol Kerzner, Heather Kerzner, who is helping promote the foundation.The Italian is the chief executive officer of Quercus, which specialises in renewable energy infrastructure, investing in solar photovoltaic, wind and combined heat and power projects across Europe.Biasi and Kerzner, who was married to Sol for 10 years before they divorced in 2012, are planning a celebrity tennis tournament in London to raise funds for the Quercus foundation.

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