Mall upgrades create local jobs
WITH a mandate of developing SMMEs and co-operatives, the Ithala Finance Development Corporation (IFDC) is spending R85-million on refurbishing shopping malls in KZN’s oldest retail centres.
In the project that began in October, the facelift of the Ulundi, Nongoma and eShowe shopping centres has thus far seen a little over R47-million being spent.
Each site’s upgrade is about 70% complete.
‘We are impressed with the progress made and commend Ithala for taking the initiative to show us their projects,’ said IDFC Board Member Precious Sibiya, who was among other board members visiting each site.
‘The knowledge and understanding that we gain each time helps us when we receive reports and decide on recommendations.
‘With the centres having been built between 1989 and 1998, it was high time for the upgrades.
‘SMME and cooperative development is at the core of the IDFC’s mandate and we have used the refurbishment of our centres to promote and support local small businesses,’ said Themba Mathe, Ithala Acting Group Chief Executive.
‘This is just the start of our intention to revitalise and recapitalise our property portfolio, and to encourage public-private partnerships in developing new infrastructure in KZN.
‘We have set an investment target of R850-million by 2021.’
The company said projects, varying from electrical and plumbing to reroofing, painting and fencing, have been undertaken by 1 2 businesses, mostly small black-owned enterprises based in Zululand.
This means the project has created employment for
302 people, with all contractors CIDB compliant.
An artist’s impression of eShowe Mall