KEETMANSHOOP - Keetmanshoop in the Karas Region will have its own retail centre by November 2013 thanks to an investment fully funded by Old Mutual Namibia.
This was announced by Old Mutual’s Managing Director (MD) of Africa Operations, Johannes !Gawaxab, at a hotel in Keetmanshoop during the official announcement of the N$92 million investment on Friday. The 11 000-square metre centre will be located next to the Canyon Hotel.
The site handover is expected in August this year, with construction to begin immediately. The centre is expected to officially open for business in November 2013.
Ninety-five per cent of what is set to be the biggest ever retail centre in the south will be dedicated to retail space, while five per cent has been set aside as office space.
Inhabitants of the south will be happy to know that some of the confirmed new tenants at the centre will be well-known retailers such as Foschini, Markhams, Shoprite, Legit, KFC, Edgars, Jet and Mr Price, as well as food outlets such as Hungry Lion.
Many of the outlets do not have branches in Keetmanshoop at the moment and it is believed that their entrance here will boost the market, improve product supply and ease the shopping needs of people in the south. The centre will also have 222 parking spaces.
A total of 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase, while approximately 150 direct and indirect permanent jobs will become available.
!Gawaxab noted that Old Mutual did not hesitate to invest in the centre as the group foresees the potential for doing good business in the south.
He went on to say that the investment is in line with the company’s social investment commitment to finance projects that contribute towards the economic development of Namibia.
“We expect purchasing power to grow as new projects such as Neckertal Dam, the expansion of the Naute Date project and the construction of the University of Namibia (Unam) and Polytechnic of Namibia centres come on stream,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Operations at Old Mutual, Sakaria Nghikembua, said the centre will be expanded and more shops will be brought on board, based on how good the sales turn out to be.
Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi was instrumental in negotiations for the investment along with support from other regional leaders. He said he aims to bring tangible development projects to the people of the south for economic development.
Swartbooi advised that this works best when political leaders work together to bring development to people despite their political affiliation.
“Despite the little squabbles we face, we need to bring development that our people can see and touch. This is just another milestone in moving the region forward,” he said. - Nampa