ZWIDE was abuzz yesterday after the opening of a major retail hub right in the middle of the township. Kenako Mall features some of South Africa’s biggest fashion retailers.
The 20000m² mall is a joint venture between the Shoprite Group and African Dune Investment – which is a subsidiary of developers Prosperito Holdings – and will service a potential 340000 customers, with an estimated retail potential of R1.22-billion.
Shoppers, some with their whole families, showed up in their numbers yesterday, carrying the specials pamphlets given out at the gates.
Esther Bailey, who was shopping with her sister Eva Peterson, said she loved the atmosphere of the new mall.
“It’s so convenient for us and has so many shops it’s staggering.”
The Schauderville woman said she woke up quite early to check out what Kenako had to offer.
The Kenako Mall has 82 shops, including Shoprite, Clicks, Truworths, Jet, Edgars Active, Ackermans, Rage, Mr Price, Identity, Legit, OK Furniture, Morkels, Capitec, McDonald’s, Torga Optical and Standard Bank.
Siphokazi Josiah, out shopping with her sister Lumka, both of KwaDwesi Extension, said the best thing about the mall was that it had all the shops she needed and meant she never had to travel to town again. “This for us means less time travelling to faraway malls just for shoes, and less bus fare.”
Located on the corner of Uitenhage and Spondo roads, the mall is easily accessible for residents of Bethelsdorp, Algoa Park, Kwazakhele, Soweto-on-Sea, Zwide, KwaDwesi, KwaMagxaki and New Brighton. It has 995 parking bays and a public transport area that can accommodate up to 37 taxis.
Tired shoppers, some with two trolleys full of groceries and clothes, milled around from shop to shop yesterday carrying balloons, while DJs played music and held competitions outside.
Foot traffic was expected to reach 30000 yesterday.
Hendrik Makoba, of Algoa Park, said the mall was on par with the other big retail malls in the city. “It’s lovely to see something like this in our township.”
Barbara Trzebiatowska, from Torga Optical head office, who was in town for the opening, said the mall had surpassed their expectations.
“It’s phenomenal. From the foot traffic alone you can tell it’s going to be a major success. Township malls provide a great opportunity to expand.”
Prosperito chief executive Gerhardt Jooste said the opening day was absolutely crazy.
“We are really excited to see the community taking ownership of the mall because it is theirs at the end of the day.”
The property management group said while it could not say exactly how many jobs were created during the R200-million project, most of the people who were employed in the mall were from the community. “In the hiring process, we liaised with the community. We asked the local councillor and the youth groups to send us CVs and selected from there.”