Polokwane — The construction of a R200 million mall in Seshego outside Limpopo's capital is set to boost job opportunities and lessen transport costs for shoppers, says Polokwane mayor Freddy Greaver.
Greaver was speaking during the sod turning ceremony to mark the construction of the mall, which is expected to be completed by October next year.
"We are fully behind the development as the shopping mall will serve as an economic growth facility. It will cut down transport expenses for the local members of the community who currently spend large amounts of their income for travelling to work and to do shopping in town," said Greaver.
He said the development would also assist the unemployed members of the community of Seshego and its outskirts to get jobs.
Municipal spokesman Simon Mokoatedi said the shopping centre was a joint venture between local businessmen Sam Mabotja and Jaco Nel and the Moolman Group. The Moolman Group was responsible for the development of Makro, Polokwane City Centre and the Mall of the North.
"The new shopping centre is situated at the confluence of Nelson Mandela and Polokwane Drive, which are the two arterial roads connecting Seshego with Polokwane hence the name Seshego Circle Shopping Centre," Greaver said.
Moolman Group director Pieter Beyers said the shopping centre would have about 35 shops, including banks and restaurants.
It would be a community-based facility that would primarily cater for the needs of the Seshego community.
"It will also serve some outlying areas like Makgofe, Mabokelele and Mmotong. A 15 000-square metre shopping centre would be anchored by the 3 500-square metre Shoprite Supermarket and 2500-square metre Cambridge Foods Supermarket," he said.
Industrialist developer Janie Moolman said the shopping centre would create 400 employment opportunities during the construction phase and is expected to create around 300 permanent jobs for the community.
"A large amount of these jobs will be for the people of Seshego and surrounding areas," he said.
Community member, Isaac Matlala, 37, said he was happy that the contractors did not look any further when employing workers but focused on his township.
"I am very happy that we will have our mall just around the corner and many people will get jobs. We travel a long distance to Polokwane for shopping but now we will spend less on transport costs," Matlala said.