After the stuttering start to the whole project, Pietermaritzburg’s major shopping mall has been a great success. It may be recalled that there were several delays as interest groups lobbied for alternative sites. While the architecture remains controversial, the community can be pleased with what has emerged — a commercial drawing card incorporating shops, restaurants and cinemas, readily accessible from the city centre, the adjacent suburbs and the national route through the province, where a range of quality outlets are housed under one roof surrounded by plentiful safe parking. The fact that some 75 additional retailers are queueing for space is a measure of its success, and, having already seen one enlargement of the original structure, the municipal council has now approved proposals for a third phase of development. This will not only extend the shopping precinct but add office space and an hotel, all to be ready for the anticipated influx of 2010 soccer fans.