Mall boosts economy of rural Qumbu

03 April 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914183

Commerce & Trade
Property – Commercial & Industrial
SMME Development & Support
Social Development

THE Qumbu Shopping Mall has become one of the fastest growing rural community malls in less than five years thanks to community support.

That’s according to the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) which provided financial backing for the mall. It said residents of Qumbu were one of a few communities that own a stake in a local shopping mall.

The shopping mall in the small town of Qumbu, north of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, was developed by black owned company Aduma Trading, with the funding assistance from the NEF to the tune of R48,3 million.

The NEF’s funding was done through Zulimar Trading a company which it helped set up with Aduma and included the Qumbu Community Trust.

The shopping mall services the immediate community in Qumbu and extends to areas within the OR Tambo District by providing access to food and services. The mall also provides convenience as it saves the consumers time and transportation.

Zulimar Trading Managing director Mongezi Mduzulwane said since the shopping centre was developed, there has been several developments around the centre including new housing projects.

He said during the construction phase of the shopping centre, more than 100 temporary jobs were created. The labour was sourced from the nearby communities.

Various skills were imparted including plumbing and construction to local people who have since set up their own small businesses.

The shopping centre, which opened its doors five years ago with a gross lettable area of 4737sqm, was later extended with an additional 2000sqm. The increase in size of the shopping centre is due to high demand of retail space and huge numbers of customers shopping at the mall.

Mduzulwane said the shopping centre created more than 200 permanent jobs for local people working at the supermarket, and other retail stores, banks and restaurants.

He added that an opportunity was created for some community members representing the community trust to supply vegetables to the supermarket at the mall.

“We are planning for Phase 3 which will have the gross lettable area of 1106sqm at a total expansion project cost of R9,3 million.”

He said the planned expansion was as a result of Rhino supermarket extending its business to also include an additional independent shop. The current lease status was 100% confirmed.

NEF Head of Marketing and Communication Moemise Motsepe said this was an indication that black entrepreneurs were eager to play an active role in the economy.

“With adequate resources the NEF can make a huge difference.

“When we saw the growth of interest in the mall, we decided to further contribute to the second phase expansion of the mall as it is spurring economic growth and activity in Qumbu and surrounding communities,” said Motsepe.

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