Baywest Mall will source labour locally

Lee-Anne Butler

THE developers of the multibillion-rand Baywest Mall, which will be constructed along the N2 in Port Elizabeth, are committed to procuring local labour and contractors and have invited interested businesses to register on a database.

The R1-billion mall, which together with extensive road works will make up the first phase of the project, is set to become the Eastern Cape’s biggest private construction project. On completion, the 150000m² mall will be similar in size to Canal Walk in Cape Town.

The R250-million roads contract, which will go out to tender during the course of the next month, will ensure the mall is connected to the N2 freeway and will also give motorists easy access to Walker Drive in Sherwood and to Cape Road.

At a public briefing for interested businesses in the construction industry, held at the Eastcape Training Centre in Struandale last night, Chris Beech, head of development for the Baywest Mall project, said earthworks had recently been completed. Beech said the contractor – whose identity he would not yet disclose – had already moved on site for the project, which is expected to be completed in March 2015. The mall is being developed in a joint project by Abacus Asset Management, responsible for Cape Gate Mall in Cape Town and Mooi Rivier Mall in Potchefstroom and The Billion Group, which developed the Hemingways Mall in East London.

BEE adviser for the project from Bham, Tayob, Khan and Matunda Quantity Surveyors, Christine Fife, said the developers have set a R355-million minimum for BEE involvement in the project and a minimum of R260-million for local business involvement. She said developers also wanted at least half of the 3000 jobs to be created during the construction phase to go to local individuals.

“These are also all conservative figures. The developers have contracts with the contractors and in those documents these things are required. So to this end we are compiling a database of service providers and of individuals in order to achieve these targets,” Fife said.

She said a client liaison officer, Azola Tybosch, has been appointed to serve as a link between interested businesses such as tilers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and building material suppliers and the main contractor.

“Obviously this is a very large project – for example the electrical work alone will be in the region of R110-million – so we need a sub-contractor who is capable to do the work that is required,” Beech said.

“If we find there are no electrical companies that fit the requirements we may appoint an electrical company from Cape Town for example. That electrical company will receive the database of local electrical companies and will be tasked with selecting the companies that will assist it.”

He said on completion of Phase 1, developers would continue with Baywest City, which includes office parks, residential nodes, private schools with associated sporting facilities, hotels, a hospital complex, a motor city, a light industrial precinct and a lifestyle centre. This would take place over a 15- to 20-year period.

“When the mall is up and running we should create 5400 jobs, which we estimate is 5% of the current unemployed population in the city.”

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