New local mall open for business

2018-10-10 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedDeveloper Vivian Reddy cuts the ribbon for the official opening of the mall (front right) with his wife Sorisha Naidoo and well wishers looking on.

PHOTO: suppliedDeveloper Vivian Reddy cuts the ribbon for the official opening of the mall (front right) with his wife Sorisha Naidoo and well wishers looking on.

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AFTER a touch and go wait, the KwaDukuza Mall finally opened to the public on Friday evening.

The mall, which was scheduled to open on Thursday morning following the official unveiling ceremony on Wednesday night, did not receive the occupational certificate from the KwaDukuza Municipality as scheduled.

As pressure from the eager community and local organisations mounted, the KwaDukuza council met on Friday afternoon and decided to grant a temporary conditional occupation certificate to developer Double Ring Trading. This follows a lot of uncertainty over the opening, which was expected on Thursday, but the mall was obligated to close by the municipal council during their morning inspection for a number of reasons relating to conditions of approval.

The developer was advised by council to deal with such issues, as they were critical for the minimum qualification for the temporary occupation certificate.

According to KwaDukuza Municipality’s communications knowledge office Sphelelo Ngobese, the developer had since worked around the clock to address key issues and thereafter invited the municipal task team to undertake another inspection on Friday, during which the team noted remarkable progress and made recommendations to council.

“Today [September 28] the KwaDukuza executive committee, acting in terms of Section 14 (1A) of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977, approved a ‘Temporal Occupation Certificate’, which was applied for by Double Ring Trading.

“This bold decision was welcomed by all political parties represented at the municipal council however the executive committee members emphasised stringent conditions that the developer has to comply with, which have to be monitored by senior municipal managers.”

Ngobese added: “KwaDukuza Municipality continues to ensure that developers operate within the ambit of the law, in particular, Town Planning and Buildings Regulations and that enforcement is made without fear or favour to those who don’t comply with the regulations.”

Ngobese said the executive committee also noted the road congestions linked to the main entrance of the mall, which can be attributed to the new investment.

“In this regard, the municipality is working with both the developer and the Department of Transport on a lasting solution to these key bottlenecks. There are temporary measures, which will be implemented with the developer as part of their traffic management plan.

“The public is urged to bear with the municipality and the developer whilst these issues are being addressed. Council further notes all the positive and negative inputs made by various members of our community and structures.

“We will continue to find a lasting solution to concerns raised by some members of the public within the ambits and spirits of participatory democracy. We will be continuing to engage with stakeholders to deal with our grand plan known as the KwaDukuza CBD Regeneration Study, to ensure that the property owners continue to rehabilitate their properties and ensure the viability of the CBD.”

In celebration of the opening, a grand fireworks display to the tune of R120 000 was put on with 5 000 locals looking up from the mall’s car park and joining in on the celebrations.

A total of 50 000 shoppers streamed into the mall over the weekend and stores buzzed over bumper trade and queues outside restaurants and banks.

Checkers and Pick n Pay extended trading hours from 7 am to 10 pm to accommodate shoppers.

Despite the massive crowds, the centre was equipped to manage their car park overturn, ensuring minimal traffic disruptions.

At the unveiling, renowned carver Kuber Tambuti Singh showered Vivian Reddy, property developer and mall owner, with glowing tributes for his contribution to the community of the greater KwaDukuza area.

Reddy’s presence was felt when the mall opened its doors as he was found mingling with the shoppers.

Reddy said: “A return trip from Stanger to Ballito was 56 km at an AA rate of R4.50, plus the two-way toll of R26 amounted to a fairly large amount of R278, not forgetting the travel time of 50 minutes for the entire trip, just to be able to experience high quality shopping.

“KwaDukuza Mall is a sure travelling cost-saver for the Stanger community.”

The mall is also holding a competition to commemorate the opening, giving shoppers a chance to win a double-cab bakkie when they spend R200 or more at the mall. Thousands of shoppers have already placed their entries into the entry boxes and the vehicle is currently on display at the mall’s centre court, where it will stay until the draw of the lucky winner in January.

One of the big questions posed to Reddy by the community was when he will be building cinemas in KwaDukuza.

Reddy is currently working in conjunction with the KwaDukuza Muslim Society to place a Musalla (prayer room) at the mall.

The community can keep following up on the mall via the Facebook page KwaDukuza Mall to get the answer to their cinema question.

The mall will be operating with the following times:

Monday — Saturday: 9 am — 6 pm

Sunday and public holidays: 9 am — 4 pm

Checkers and Pick n Pay: 8 am — 8 pm

Restaurants: 9 am until late

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