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Jalamba Clinic
Tafalehashe, Willowvale district, Eastern Cape

William Andrew MARTINSON: Design Architect

Client:Anglo American Chairman's Fund


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32°01'55.17" S 28°56'34.50" E


Anglo American Chairman's Fund and Anglo American Platinum approved funding for improvements to the existing Jalamba Clinic, in Tafalehashe, a remote rural area in the Transkei. Their intention was to provide an improved Clinic facility in an area from which Anglo American Platinum sourced some of its employees.

The new Clinic facility was to be a joint project between Anglo American Chairman's Fund and Anglo American Platinum and the EC Department of Health on the basis of an agreed Memorandum of Understanding.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recorded the terms under which Anglo American Chairman's Fund and Anglo American Platinum would provide the infrastructure and the EC Department of Health would provide the staff and resources to enable the clinic to function.

The upgrade project was also intended to provide support to the nurses working at Jalamba Clinic and a Nurses Home was integral to this ideal.

The Clinic and Nurses Home was originally going to be a single project, but due to budget constraints the Clinic was constructed first. This was due to delays in securing a signed MOU by the EC Department of Health and the rapid escalation of building costs in the lead up to the Soccer World Cup.

Additional funding was subsequently obtained from Anglo American Chairman's Fund and Anglo American Platinum and the Nurses Home was then constructed as a separate contract with a second contractor. Both phases were put out to competitive tender.


Osmond Lange Architects was appointed by the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund in 2006. The project fell under the direction of Donald Millwood, a Project Manager with Tshikululu Social Investments who were appointed as the Managing Agents of the Anglo American Chairman's Fund.

THM Engineers of East London handled the Structural and Civil Engineering under the direction of Gerhard du Plessis. Bob Mazwana of MMPA in East London handled the Quantity Surveying requirements.

The first meeting with the Tafalehashe community to discuss the possible development was held on 21 September 2006.


The project brief was in due course reduced to the following:

  • Upgrade and extend the facilities provided by the existing Jalamba Clinic, to service the Tafalehashe Community;
  • Respect the layered history of the site and include the retention, repair and adaptive re-use of the existing Clinic building – which had been constructed by the Community - as an integral part of the overall plan.
  • Provide a more appropriate health care facility for the approximately 2 000 patients seen by the Nurses every month.
  • Operate as a ‘Step-Down Clinic’ facility only – to try and pre-empt referral of patients to Regional Hospitals. This need was identified as important as part of the requirements to manage HIV infected patients before the introduction of antiretroviral drugs.
  • Create a secure courtyard within the site bounded by the Clinic building/s and their linking walls, to create a secure perimeter formed by the external line of the buildings;
  • Provide living accommodation for the Nurses on the Clinic site, within the secure area – which accommodation would typically be used by Nurses during the week, with them commuting home at weekends. Three nurses would work a five-day week, 8 AM to 4 PM.
  • The Nurses would be on call if there were an emergency after hours.
  • No additional public toilet facilities would be provided on site as these facilities existed in a freestanding building on the south side of the Clinic site.



  • Three Consulting Rooms, one for each nurse;
  • Consulting Rooms adequately sized (each say 20 sqm);
  • Overnight Observation/Emergency Maternity Room (Patients bed had to be able to be sited in the centre of the room in the event of a birth taking place)
  • The Department of Health made a belated request for a Delivery Room, Lie-in Ward, Shower/Toilet and Sluice Room at the south end of the new Clinic building.
  • Consulting Rooms to be provided with Wash Hand Basin with elbow action taps;
  • Washroom and Store with slop hopper and basin;
  • Dispensary and secure Storeroom with concrete slab as ceiling;
  • Sheltered external Waiting Area for say 50 people with area of lawn adjacent.
  • Small integrated Guard Room to accommodate a security guard during the day.


  • Bed-sitting / Living accommodation for three Nurses on site;
  • Bathroom and Toilet facilities to be used by Nurses on duty;
  • Kitchen and Dining facility to be used as Tea Kitchen for Nurses on duty.


At the outset there was no piped water available on the site. Large rainwater tanks on plinths and two high level water storage tanks (with pumps) were provided to supply potable water to the Clinic and Nurses Home. There was similarly no power available at the commencement of the project but provision for the future connection was made throughout with the installation of suitable electrical fittings.

ESKOM power and a regional Water Supply scheme were both subsequently connected to the Clinic site. The soil-water and waste-water were both piped to a substantial Septic Tank on the south side of the site, connected in turn into a traditional herring-bone French drain.


A secure grassed courtyard would be created around which the Clinic, Nurses Home and 'old' Clinic were arranged as a secure complex within the larger site. The courtyard had a scale that would enable community meetings to take place within it. The existing Clinic was used as an anchor to position the courtyard on the site.

The courtyard would ideally be planted with one large 'sacred' tree placed centrally to provide shade. A covered verandah would provide access and circulation around three sides of the courtyard, linking the Clinic, the Nurses Home and the 'old' clinic;

A 'pergola' structure on the west side was intended to secure the fourth side of the courtyard, as was a broad Verandah structure on the remaining extent of the south side of the courtyard. Various ramped level changes were introduced within the covered verandah to cater for the fall of the site.

The Clinic and the Nurses Home were both linear buildings with all spaces linked by broad internal corridors, top lit with clearstory window. All internal spaces had generous sloping ceilings following the mono-pitch slope of the roof. All three nurses Bedrooms and the Living Room faced due north and addressed the road from within their own secure garden space.

The new buildings were intended to fit in with the local architectural context of the Transkei hinterland with simple, plastered and painted surfaces and volumes. The Clinic and Nurses Home were both roofed with a secret-fix sheeting to create a long lasting maintenance free roof. The new roof sheeting also help to differentiate the layered history of the site and enabled the 'old' clinic with its corrugated iron roof to stand apart as the original core building.

The guardroom at the northern corner of the courtyard provided a single point of surveillance over the access road, the parking area, the ambulance and pedestrian arrival, the waiting areas and courtyard within.

The entrance into the Clinic complex was marked with a simple, large red cross and the words JALAMBA CLINIC, on a plain rectangular plastered wall.


A new Waiting Room, designed and constructed by the Donald Woods Foundation (DWF), has closed the west side of the courtyard and is accessed by a narrow and low verandah. A small-scale building of three Offices has also closed the south side of the courtyard.

The design of the two DWF buildings was clearly informed by Osmond Lange’s placing of the buildings around the courtyard and by the use of a tall parapet wall with an attached verandah. However the design for the DWF missed the finer detail and conception of the three-dimensional massing, the use of clear storey windows, the wide circulation verandahs and the lofty sloping ceilings used in the Clinic and the Nurses Home. These aspects were unfortunately neither understood nor perpetuated in the two new buildings.


The MEC for the EC Department of Health, Sicelo Gcobana, formally opened the Clinic facility on 22 April 2014, at a function jointly funded by the Anglo American Chairman's Fund, Anglo American Platinum and the EC Department of Health.

An engraved commemorative brass plaque was installed on a timber mount on one of the buttresses within the courtyard. A transcript of the plaque is provided below:

Jalamba Clinic
Extensions to Clinic and Nurses Accommodation
Funded by the
Anglo American Chairman's Fund
Anglo American Platinum
Donald Woods Foundation
In Partnership with
Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Health
Officially Opened on 22 April 2014

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" – Nelson Mandela

William Martinson, Donald Millwood (2014)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.