A multi-million rand project to redevelop the Maluti Crescent Shopping Centre (formerly the Setsing Complex) in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa, is underway. A soil-turning event took place on 18 August, marking the start of the face-lift for the shopping centre to the tune of R338 million. Envisaged to boost the economy of the town, the initiative is undertaken by the JSE-listed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Vukile Property Fund. This centre will apparently become the largest shopping centre in Phuthaditjhaba and is scheduled for completion in October 2018. The redevelopment involves adding 12 357 m2 to the centre, expanding it to a total of 34 360 m2. Construction includes a new covered taxi rank of 100 bays and more parking. The centre’s major upgrade responds to shopper demand and its excellent trading metrics. Two years ago, the funding agency acquired the centre from the retail portfolio of the former Synergy Income Fund. The agency has appointed leading shopping centre developers and leasing specialists Flanagan and Gerard Property Development and Investment as the development manager.“Vukile quickly identified the opportunity to unlock greater performance from this asset,” said Itumeleng Mothibeli, executive asset manager of the implementing agency. “This redevelopment has a projected net yield of 8,5% for its first year after completion. The investment will also extend the life cycle of this shopping centre asset and position it to better meet the modern retail needs of the 80 000-plus households of Phuthaditjhaba, as well as its surroundings.” A number of established retailers are expected to find their way to this shopping complex. The existing crescent is anchored by five major banks and a strong line-up of national fashion retailers and supermarket stores.