The much anticipated official opening of the Mall @Mfula, situated in Mkhondo, took place on Thursday, 24 November 2016. The Mall, the first of its kind within the Mkhondo Local Municipality, is expected to create the much needed job opportunities within the region. It is expected that the Mall will bring economic activities to the area, and drive away poverty.
Speaking during the opening, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mr SikhumbuzoKholwane, urged the people of Mkhondo to take good care of the place as it is intended to boost the economy and create jobs for the unemployed. MEC Kholwane also urged the management to ensure that they employ locally. “This Mall is for the people of Mkhondo and it must be run by the people of Mkhondo. We urge the management to ensure that they prioritise locals for employment opportunities”, said the MEC. “Furthermore, we urge the Mall management to ensure that they do not neglect the street vendors. Put measures in place to incorporate the vendors within this Mall. They also have a role to play in ensuring that this Mall is vibrant”, continued the MEC.
The Mall was constructed by a local business man, Mr Dlamini. “I recognised an imbalance for our local people.” “It didn’t make economic sense to me that a person would drive to eMalahleni, Middelburg, Mbombela, and as far as Sandton, just to shop. Our people had to spend more money on the road than they did in the shops. We have therefore decided to bring all those towns and cities to Mkhondo, no more long road trips just for shopping, this Mall has everything and more. We therefore urge our people to look after this place because it belongs to you, it is meant to assist you,” concluded Mr Dlamini.
Over 500 people were employed during the construction of the Mall, and over 800 will be permanently employed at completion.