The opening of Eyethu Orange Farm Mall will mark the beginning of a new chapter for the Orange Farm community. Not only will the new regional mall attract plenty of shoppers, the community itself will also enjoy a 10% ownership in the development, helping Orange Farm in its journey to becoming a vibrant and successful town.
The community’s share of the mall was bought through a trust – the Orange Farm Community Trust. The trust was formed so the community can benefit from owning 10% of Eyethu Orange Farm Mall. The trust is run by volunteers or Trustees elected by the community. It is the Trustees who represent and protect the interest of the Orange Farm community.
In order for the community to buy a 10% share in the mall, it was provided with a loan from the founder, Stretford Land Development, and its partners Flanagan & Gerard and The Dipula Income Fund.
However, to ensure that the community’s interests are completely independent, the National Empowerment Fund agreed to provide a R50 million loan to the community so it can buy its 10% investment in Eyethu Orange Farm Mall. The loan was used to buy 10% in the land title deed, and to pay for 10% of the project’s construction costs.
In October this year, the mall will celebrate its grand opening, which will be an exciting time for the community, as it will begin to see its investment grow as the mall begins to earn an income.
The very first project for the Orange Farm Community Trust will be to pay back the loan on behalf of the community, which will take around fifteen years. All community members will have a vital part to play in growing their investment, as supporting Eyethu Orange Farm Mall before any other shopping centre will make it possible for the loan to be paid back as soon as possible, and the sooner the loan is paid – the more the community can benefit from other projects.
Once the loan is paid, the Trust, with the help and guidance of the community, can identify special needs projects; these can be the building of a crèche, a home for the elderly or any other project close to the community’s heart.
The money for these projects will come from the income earned from the community’s share of ownership of the mall and will enable residents to benefit from Eyethu Orange Farm Mall for many years to come.
To be involved in any Trust project – be it building, supplying or operating it –a business or individual must be a resident of Orange Farm, guaranteeing that the whole community stands to benefit from this landmark development.