Mall developers face backlash

2017-11-08 06:00
PHOTO: nkosinathi dubeThe construction site of the KwaDukuza Mall development which has come under fire from unhappy locals.

PHOTO: nkosinathi dubeThe construction site of the KwaDukuza Mall development which has come under fire from unhappy locals.

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THE construction of the KwaDukuza Mall and Civic Precinct by developers Edison Property Group and their main contractor Enza Construction has attracted the ire of a disgruntled local organisation called Amadela Ngokubona who are advocating for the business interests of locals to be included in the project.
It believed that the organisation at some point also allegedly attempted to shut down the site.

Amadela Ngokubona together with the iLembe Business Forum raised a number of concerns pertaining to what was promised to the people of KwaDukuza with regards to local benefication.
Edison Property Group acquired the land for the development from KwaDukuza Municipality for R9 million to build a mall and civic precinct. According to the organisation’s chairperson Xolani Skadi they have had several engagements with representatives from the project in raising the issues of benefication of the people of KwaDukuza but the outcome has been “sketchy”.

“At the beginning we were told that we must register on the database but what has transpired is that you now find sub-contractors who are not even on the database like eThekwini Steel and RMC getting preference.
“Another issue is that of the conflict of interests from some of the project’s officials as they have companies who provide services in the project and also that local people are not well represented in terms of jobs and no skills transfer programme is in place,” said Skadi.

The organisation has maintained that despite public perception they have a non-violent approach to the matter as they raise their grievances in meetings with relevant stakeholders.

“We are a legitimate organisation which consists of about 450 members across the iLembe District and we stand firm in advancing radical economic transformation for which in this case we want 90% if not 100% benefication of KwaDukuza people. Apart from that, we have resolved that should there be no consensus in the next meeting the project should have to shut down,” added Skadi.

However, the Stanger Weekly contacted the developers Edison Corporation for comment regarding this matter via their spokesperson Brian Mpono, who said through a statement:

“Upon receiving query from Stanger Weekly, we contacted the main contractor; we further have been advised that apart from the rainy weather nothing else has caused the project to be delayed in any way. “However, relative to the matters that have arisen, we have advertised for the use of local contractors and over 300 people have responded.
“Those who are qualified will be invited to tender for various parts of the project. The building of the mall is progressing very well and is due to open in September 2018; you will be pleased to know that it is 90% let.”

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