New shopping centre in North West’s mining hub

In May this year (2012) construction begins on the site of a new 15 000sqm shopping centre at the intersection of the N12 and Jabulani Street in Jouberton, which adjoins Klerksdorp, the mining centre of the North West Province.

Klerksdorp is the business and administrative hub of a substantial and strategically positioned region bordered by Botswana and the economic powerhouse of Gauteng. Klerksdorp is a prosperous town in itself, further boosted by the surrounding goldfields.

Due to open in the second quarter of 2013, the new shopping centre, Goldfields Mall, will be the first modern shopping centre in Jouberton and will include 500 parking bays as well as a fully-serviced taxi rank for 30 taxis – designed in collaboration with the local taxi associations which have lent their support to this project.  The Southern Taxi Council, as the umbrella body representing these associations, has purpose-designed the fully-fledged taxi facility.

Rob Terry, development manager for Landmark Real Estate, property developers of the new shopping centre, says more and more retailers with vision are offering their brands in South Africa’s townships. “Combined with the adjacent suburbs of Manzil Park and Alabama, the historically black township of Jouberton has the highest density of residents in the region. The reasons for this trend toward township retail development are self-evident, and revolve mainly around expediency and price.

“For Jouberton’s 200 000 residents, the new shopping centre will eliminate the need for a 25km round trip to Klerksdorp by taxi in order to purchase necessities, a few luxuries or enjoy a meal out. This will be a modern and attractive mall with landscape features and amenities that will not only provide the area with a central hub, not only for shopping but also as a social meeting place – something which is entirely lacking outside the churches and schools in the area.”

Terry says in recent months there have been a  number of major retail investment announcements in such previously disadvantaged areas by the likes of Old Mutual, Vukile, Advent Asset Management, Dipula, and the PIC (Public Investment Corporation), among others, indicating investor confidence in this important retail sector.

“Retailers active in this arena are reporting significantly higher growth compared with so-called traditional retailing nodes. Fortress Property Fund, which has good exposure to low income commuter-type retail centres, recently reported impressive growth of 10 percent in distributions over the previous year, clearly confirming this higher performance,” he says.

House price reports by FNB in recent years add further weight to the indication of increasing stability and growth in these areas, with the average urban township home now worth over R250 000 and growing at in excess of 10 percent per annum. This outperforms the just 3.8 percent average growth in house prices in the six major metro regions as a whole.

New centre already 85 percent let:

Adds Terry: “Currently the centre is approximately 85 percent pre-let, comprising national tenants. Shoprite is the anchor tenant trading from a 3 500sqm store, complemented by Hyper Butchery and Nizams. Meanwhile PEP and Jet will head up the fashion offering and Cashbuild the DIY component. Eateries include KFC, Traditional Fish ‘n Chips and several other national franchises, while furniture outlets include OK Furniture, Lewis and Fairprice. A Post Office branch enhances the service mix. Because of its size and expansion potential, this centre should remain the dominant retail offering in the area for the foreseeable future.”

Comments Landmark’s executive director, Lionel Kisten: “It is noteworthy that there is commitment in the centre from the national fashion sector beyond Jet and PEP. It seems that astute retailers have recognised that fashion should be offered at the brand conscious consumers’ doorstep. PEP pioneered fashion retail in black townships, a factor which contributed to their success as South Africa’s largest fashion outlet. In recent years Jet has followed a similar strategy and is a serious player in this market. It’s encouraging to now see other retailers recognising the business potential offered in these areas.”

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