By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – In a move intended to bridge the gap of unemployment in poverty stricken areas of Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality, Nthoese Development has injected R200m to redevelop Setsing plaza, where 1,250 permanent jobs will be created.
The construction of the mall is expected to take 16 months, and 2,500 people – mainly locals and those who have been operating from Setsing as hawkers – are expected to be employed.
This was disclosed by the CEO of Nthoese Development Seabelo Theledi during the sod turning ceremony on Wednesday this week.
The launch came after months of consultations between the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality leadership and businesses operating from Setsing Plaza, including hawkers.
“I come from a township in the rural area and I understand the situation here, as well as the challenges and what is needed. For the past few months we have been doing liaison work, interacting with community structures and organs of society to understand their needs, and how we can accommodate. This project is not ours but belongs to the community, we are just implementing agents.”
Theledi also clarified why some parts of the building have to be demolished during the redevelopment.
“One of the concerns is that we are destroying part of the shopping centre. Let me clarify: at the moment the centre is about 23 000 square metres, so what we intend to do is to join part of the centre, and the final product will be 28 000 square metres. This means we are extending it. We are demolishing but we are improving it.”
Theledi said through engagement and consultation, they managed to convince the hawkers who were resistant and feared their jobs would be affected negatively.
“Hawkers are accommodated and will have their own stalls; we know they play a crucial role in the growth on economy.”
Maluti-a-phofung local municipality Executive Executive Mayor Gilbert Mokotso has thanked Nthoese development for investing in the municipality.
“ I am happy that our people will be employed. Others will work as sub contractors .i am also relieved that hawkers who have been operating from the center will be accommodated. “