Doors to the R80-million KaNyamazane Shopping Centre, which includes large chain stores, were opened to shoppers and is expected to boost development in the area.
"It opened its doors for business, creating 700 jobs and bringing high street shops and four big banks to the heart of an under-serviced community," said head of properties at Futuregrowth Community Property Fund (FCPF) Wayne van der Vent.
FCPF funded and owns the centre, which was built by New Africa Developments.
KaNyamazane is regarded as the largest residential area in the Mbombela municipality.
The new shopping centre is a single story building covering some 14 000 m2.
It is built in high street style next to the local sports stadium and municipal offices, forming the hub of a growing central business district.
Van der Vent said the major retail stores, 70% of which were national, would bring competitive prices to the area.
"When you start building a centre like this one, not only does it create a business node for the township, but it sets the stage for other enhancements in the area," he said.
He said the municipality had put in a new basketball court and upgraded other sports facilities.
"It is becoming a sports and business precinct, which will act as a catalyst to the formalisation of other trading in the area," he said.
The centre is one of several that FCPF plans to build in Mpumalanga this year.
Van der Vent said the next one would be opened in Dennilton in September next year.
Provincial MEC for economic development and planning William Lubisi will officially open the centre tomorrow. - BuaNews