Gert Sibande District’s Mayor, Councillor Walter Mngomezulu, has called for everyone’s cooperation during the construction of the first shopping mall in Dundonald in the Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality (CALM).
He said the construction of the shopping mall was long overdue and once completed, will serve not only the community of Ward 5, but the greater eMpuluzi area. “The mall will create construction job opportunities for residents and also when it starts to operate. We have asked the contractor to prioritise the residents in terms of hiring. We are therefore requesting the community to work with us and the construction crew and safeguard the area from protest and vandalism,” he urged.
CALM’s mayor, Daniel Nkosi, who was accompanied by the Troika, the Executive and councillors, led the sod-turning event. Nkosi also urged everyone to work with the developers with regards to completing the project on time for the benefit of the community at large. “Building this mall where people live is one of the Municipality’s mandates because it creates employment for our people. It will also boost the local economy as some residents will benefit in terms of providing accommodating for those who will be working there. It will also cut the cost of traveling for residents when they want to do their shopping,” he said.
Nkosi stressed that it is up to the community to make sure the construction of the mall is completed according to its time frame. They need to refrain from starting unnecessary protests but try to always resolve their concerns in an amicable manner when they are not happy. “As the Municipality we have requested the contractor to prioritise local people when they hire. We are also appealing to local businesses to take the advantage of the mall once it opens. Our people need to be open-minded and not wait for employment when the mall is finished, but they need to create their own employment by starting their own businesses,” he said.
Hugo Van Coller from Collfin Group (Pty) Ltd also requested cooperation, agreeing with the mayor that in any community, instability, crime and violence are threats to potential investors, which delays development in many areas. He also said they are prepared to work with the community in ensuring the success of this venture which would benefit CALM.