Photographed during the cutting-of-the-ribbon ceremony are, from left to right, Mr Mike Nkuna, Mr David Rosmarin, Toni Mphephu Ramabulana and MEC Mr Basikopo Makamu.
Date: 28 November 2019 By: Mbulaheni Ridovhona
The new Makhado Crossing regional mall was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, on Thursday, 21 November. She described the establishment of the mall as an example of the achievement that collaboration between the private sector and the government could attain in an effort to promote local economic growth and better the lives of the country’s citizens.
“Our country needs more visionary and exemplary business leaders of the calibre of Mr Nkuna and his group of innovative entrepreneurs to ensure that economic development does not only happen in big cities,” Deputy Minister Gina said.
The 32 000 square metre mall, which houses 83 stores, including Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths and Dischem, was built by the Masingita Group of Companies at a cost of R500 million. The mall created more than 1000 jobs during construction and is expected to create more than 1 500 direct and indirect jobs when in full operation.
The mall aims to consolidate the largely dispersed retail market in Louis Trichardt in order to create a one-stop retail destination that is easily accessible and convenient for customers from both the primary and secondary catchment areas, as well as the vast number of customers travelling on the N1 from Zimbabwe, Zambia and other South African Development Community countries.
The founder and executive chairman of the Masingita Group of Companies, Mr Mike Nkuna, said that development was about vision. “If you don't have vision and knowledge, there is nothing you can do because knowledge is power,” he said. He explained that job creation was a combined responsibility, where the government had to create the bulk infrastructure. “As government you can use us as a tool to accelerate job creation. If we can work together, I can guarantee that, between now and next year, we can create more than 10 000 jobs,” he said.
Since its establishment in 1983, the Masingita Group of Companies has focused its property development enterprise in rural and township areas of South Africa with the primary aim of local and rural economic development. The company has expanded its property portfolio with other blue-chip developments such as Jabulani Mall and Protea Glen Mall in Soweto, Masingita Mall in Giyani, Boitumelo Junction Mall in Thabong, Welkom, Free State, and the Zebediela Plaza in Moletlane.
The MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Mr Basikopo Makamu, said that they would support the mall for it to operate well. “We should not wait for people from China to come and develop our communities, we should do it ourselves. The traditional leadership should also encourage development within their communities,” MEC Makamu said.
Makhado Mayor Samuel Munyai said that the town needed more processing plants, factories, industrial parks, manufacturing plants, and assembly plants for it to attract more working people. “We have committed to densifying our town meaning that we want to attract as many people as possible to reside in town. We want working people to stay close to where they work,” Mayor Munyai said. “This mall has given our town a mega-facelift and will indeed boost the confidence of our people that they are proud to belong to this beautiful town,” he said.
Mr David Rosmarin of Investec Properties said that they were proud to be part of this magnificent shopping centre. “Mr Nkuna is a pioneer in developing shopping centres and one of the recognized property developers in the country. It has been an absolute privilege to work with him. At Investec, we strive to work with people we can trust, and Mr Nkuna has that attribute. We look forward to building more of the shopping centres with you for a better South Africa,” Mr Rosmarin said.
The 22-year-old Mbulaheni (Gary) Ridovhona has been passionate about journalism to the extent that he would buy himself a copy of weekly Univen students' newsletter, Our Voice. After reading, he would write stories about his rural village, Mamvuka, and submit them to the very newsletter for publication. His deep-rooted love for words and writing saw him register for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at the University of Venda, and joined the Limpopo Mirror team in February 2016 as a journalism intern.