New shopping centre to open in December
Ezibeleni development brings new jobs, added convenience
The Ezibeleni Shopping Centre is nearing completion and expected to open by December 1.
The centre will have 13 shops and a covered taxi rank facility.
The anchor tenants will be accommodating Shoprite, Shoprite Liquor, Pep and banking facilities, with a number of line shops.
According to Ian’s Development Service facilitation consultant Ian van Dyk, who identified the need and sourced investors, a number of local tradesmen, labourers and subcontractors have been temporarily employed to execute the building work, which is currently in the advanced state of construction.
Van Dyk said the mall was expected to be of tremendous benefit for job creation.
Other benefits will include an increase in the income base of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality and Chris Hani District Municipality through service charges for water, sewerage and electricity.
“We anticipate more permanent employment opportunities will be created than in the construction phase, which will obviously be available at a later stage.”
According to a desktop survey which was done a couple of years ago, Van Dyk said the population of Ezibeleni was more than 50,000.
However, he said Stats SA might arrive at a different figure following its census which ran last year and was concluded this year.
In order for the development to thrive, he said it needed the support of the community.
“[This is] not only to remain viable but to grow and enhance social initiatives and engage with institutions in upgrading and redevelopment programmes identified by the municipality and the local community.”
With the launch of the centre expected to take place in December, Van Dyk said they hoped to be more transparent about time frames for the handing over of other shops in due course.
The design proposals for the structure of the centre seek to create a secure and safe shopping environment with security a major priority.
He said the second phase of the development was in its advanced stage of planning and expected to commence early in 2023.
“It should be mentioned this project is long overdue and the support of the community is vital to the success of the centre and creates possibilities of future expansion.”
Ward 7 councillor Siya Qwalela said the development came with permanent employment opportunities as the township at present relied on the few government offices in the area.
“There is also an opportunity for entrepreneurs who would like to occupy the space at the shopping centre. The majority of the people depend on Sassa grants and the centre will make access easier and there will be a local trading opening for the taxi industry.”
Ezibeleni resident Busisiwe Tyasi said she was excited about the centre’s establishment.
“We have desired to have a mall for a very long time. Paying R40 to get to town per day is very costly. [The presence of the centre] means we will only have to go to town when it is necessary.”
Unathi Mkefa resident Mario Mbovane, who also works at the construction site, said before the job opportunity he had been without a job for about four years.
“I started working in January and I have a family. At least now I am able to engage my partner, who does temporary jobs, about our financial plans every fortnight.”