Zakes' plan to build a cancer hospital gets off the ground

13 March 2018 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Zakes Bantwini wants to open a hospital for cancer sufferers.
Zakes Bantwini wants to open a hospital for cancer sufferers.
Image: Jessica Levitt

Zakes Bantwini is gatvol of people with cancer being turned away from hospitals and left to die at home because they can't afford to get treatment. So, he's decided to open his own hospital to give them hope and a fighting chance.

Zakes told TshisaLIVE he had been collecting coins towards building the hospital for several years and was now negotiating with traditional leaders in KZN to get land donated for it to be built.

"This is something I have been passionate about for many years but the ball is rolling now. I will soon be registering my foundation and hopefully soon we can start building."

Zakes said the pain he felt watching his mother's struggles in hospital made him determined to not let others die because hospitals refused to help.

"Cancer treatment is expensive. I remember the doctors telling my mom's medical aid that she would stay in hospital even though she had exhausted her funds. It was heartbreaking. How can hospitals turn people away because of money. If you are from a rural area you don't even have money and now you have to pay serious money before you even start treatment. It is not right".

Zakes hoped that people will donate as much as they are able to make the hospital a success. In time, he hoped to open a second one in the Eastern Cape.

In an interview with TshisaLIVE last year, Zakes called his mother's death the most painful experience of his life and remembered the moment doctors told them she only had a month to live.

"They told us that if we had money to bury her now we must let her go because she was suffering. But if we did not have the money and would need to raise funds, he would put her on chemotherapy," he reflected.