An estimated 4 500 jobs have been created by the R5 billion Mall of Africa at Waterfall in Midrand, which officially opened its doors to customers yesterday.
Listed capital growth property company Attacq owns 80 percent of the Mall of Africa, which was developed by Atterbury, the owner of the remaining 20 percent of the mall.
Louis van der Watt, the chief executive of Atterbury, said on some days during the development phases of the mall, up to 14 000 contractors from diverse disciplines were working on the site.
Van der Watt said the development had enhanced the diversity of the retail sector in the country, changed Gauteng’s skyline and stimulated the economy, with the project supporting local economic development and stimulating job opportunities.
The 131 038m² mall is the largest first-phase completion of a mall in South Africa.
State of the art
The mall boasts more than 300 stores, including a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment and services and it estimates that about 15 million people will visit the mall annually.
The mall has a state-of-the-art nine-screen Ster Kinekor 1 122-seater cinema complex with an IMAX 3D theatre, two Cine Prestige 3D cinemas and further six cinemas, two of which are 3D ready.
Morné Wilken, the chief executive of Attacq, said the opening of the mall marked a significant business milestone for Attacq and its business environment.
“Mall of Africa is a world class lifestyle and retail destination, bringing significant value to the offering of Gauteng province as the southern African subcontinent’s commercial powerhouse,” he said.
Wilken said the opening of the mall also confirmed Attacq’s pursuit of sound capital growth and delivery of its strategic business model for long-term returns for all of Attacq’s stakeholders.
He said the Mall of Africa would act as a strong catalyst for demand for premises in the surrounding Waterfall City, which was seen as one of the most significant South African commercial developments of the decade and continued to attract local and international attention as the new corporate headquarters destination.
Wilken added Waterfall City was rapidly becoming a destination city where residents, business occupants and visitors could enjoy a true work, live and play quality lifestyle.
With its many corporate headquarters and industrial nodes, Waterfall City offered the ideal destination for corporate consolidation and the accompanying cost reduction from having a central location where business teams could be located together in Gauteng’s new corporate business powerhouse, Wilken said.
He said Attacq would continue to develop, invest and grow wisely as a sound listed capital growth fund with a strong investment and development pipeline beyond this major milestone.
“We will continue to pursue good business opportunities in South Africa, developing markets as well as established markets,” he added.
The Mall of Africa project implemented multiple green technologies, including a massive photovoltaic installation on the roof of the mall.
The installation will be the largest in South Africa and the continent and provide 4.8 mega volt-amperes of sustainable power for the centre.
The mall will also use grey water harvesting in all public toilets and for the irrigation of the entire development, while its design means natural light is maximised in the mall.