Mall up­grades cre­ate lo­cal jobs

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO BUSINESS - Tamlyn Jolly

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

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