Old Mutual invests in township malls

3 February 2012

Old Mutual Property is redeveloping and refurbishing several malls in previously disadvantaged areas as part of its contribution to sustainable community development and township upliftment in South Africa.

One such investment is the Kagiso Mall, which was demolished and is being redeveloped at a cost R123.5-million, with the mall due to reopen in April this year. Kagiso is a township located to the west of Johannesburg, near Krugersdorp.

Old Mutual fund manager Hein Smit in a statement this week that the new Kagiso Mall would make “a valuable enhancement to this community’s shopping and social experience.”

Kagiso Mall was originally developed in the 1980s and had become desperately outdated and run-down, with low occupancy rates. The newly developed mall will be 11 700m², with 9 200m² of new-line shops that will house a retail mix of 50 shops. Fast food tenants will be facing the main parking area to enable extended trading hours.

Project architects KMH were instructed specifically to address the sustainable aspects of the project, which include rainwater harvesting, low energy lighting and improved insulation specifications.

They also used local skills and expertise in the development phase.

Ensuring community involvement

“We will continue finding ways to contribute to social development projects that benefit the community and townships and we are proud of our contribution to the development of the Kagiso area,” said Old Mutual Property MD Peter Levett.

Community involvement in the project has been considered through each stage of the project, which is one of the distinguishing factors of the mall. The final design finishes propose to include numerous artworks and contributions from the community to depict images relevant to the local community.

“We look forward to the successful conclusion of this project and the grand opening next year,” he said.

Old Mutual Property has carried out other projects to improve retail centres in previously disadvantaged communities before.

Old Mutual acquired Phanghami Mall, situated in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province, which boasts a 7 834m² shopping centre complex with an investment amount of R75-million. It opened for business at the end of October 2009.

In addition, Phumlani Mall in Tembisa on the East Rand in Gauteng, was acquired for R175-million The modern shopping centre was completed in July 2009 and is fully operational.

SAinfo reporter

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