Landmark Eyethu Orange Farm Mall opens
bringing socially-innovative quality shopping to its community
The eagerly-awaited 27,000sqm, R400 million regional Eyethu Orange Farm Mall opened yesterday, bringing to fruition an unprecedented socially innovative retail development and investment.
Eyethu Orange Farm Mall, located between Joburg and Vereeniging, is 10% owned by its community, through the Orange Farm Community Trust, and is set to transform Orange Farm into a booming central business district. It is boosting the local economy in a variety of ways, from creating jobs and easy access to quality shopping, to housing the local community radio station and a day care centre.
Together with the community’s 10% stake, facilitated by the National Empowerment Fund, Eyethu Orange Farm Mall co-owners are developers Flanagan & Gerard Investments and Stretford Land Developments and JSE-listed REIT Dipula Income Fund, each of which hold 30% of the mall’s ownership.
Eyethu Orange Farm Mall marks the creation of a regional retail mall which is connected with different modes of public transport. This first-rate mall, with all the advantages of a leading regional shopping centre, offers a broad mix of retailers to satisfy local customers and the millions of rail commuters using its adjacent Stretford Station each year, as well as those using its integrated regional taxi rank. This positions it at the best and most convenient point for this community to do its shopping.
Paul Gerard, Managing Director of Flanagan & Gerard Investments, says: “Eyethu Orange Farm Mall is no ordinary mall. It is a shopping centre more deeply rooted in its community than any other in South Africa, and each tenant here is not only committed to the mall, but is also demonstrating its confidence in this community. We are thrilled by the positive response to the project by both national and local retailers. Eyethu Orange Farm Mall creates a wide variety of shopping choice that is well-match to its shopper market.”
Izak Petersen, CEO of Dipula Income Fund, reports: “We are thrilled to be invested in this quality asset, which epitomises both innovation and inspiration. Dipula’s investment is playing a key role in bringing much-needed access to top-quality retail for this community. It is meaningful responsible investment that will boost the local economy and benefit our shareholders. It also meets Dipula’s strategy to invest in retail assets in underserviced areas.”
David Lieberman of Stretford Land Developments, comments: “The idea for Eyethu Orange Farm Mall was first born with my partner Vusi Tshabalala, two decades ago. He believes that where a community has no mineral wealth, its only wealth is its buying power. He saw a future where the community of Orange Farm could benefit from its own spending power by developing a shopping mall in which the community owned a stake. The mall has been 20-years in the making and today is like a dream come true and an incredible achievement for this community. Eyethu Orange Farm Mall is proof that big business can also be good business.”
Mziwabantu Dayimani, General Counsel of the National Empowerment Fund adds: “The Eyethu Orange Farm Mall is partly owned by the Orange Farm Community Trust, which holds a 10% stake thanks to R50 million in funding facilitated by the National Empowerment Fund’s Rural & Community Development Fund unit. The social impact of the project has been meaningful. The project promises approximately 1500 permanent jobs, while 2000 jobs were supported during the construction phase.”
The benefit from the trust’s stake is intended for constructing special needs projects such as centres for development, learning, safety or care. The projects will be decided by the Orange Farm Community Trust, whose Trustees are volunteers elected by the community.
And, there’s even more benefit embedded for this community. To be involved in any Trust project – be it building, supplying or operating it – the compliant business or individual must reside in Orange Farm. This applies to everyone, regardless of their responsibility. This way, the community will directly benefit from the proceeds of the project and the money earned in Orange Farm will stay in Orange Farm.
Besides the Community Trust ownership, Eyethu Orange Farm Mall brings many other benefits, including great shopping to its community. These include job creation, retaining hard-earned spend in the community and sponsoring space for both an Afrika Tikkun preschool and community radio station, Thetha FM. The radio station will, for the first time since its launch, trade out of top graded space and benefit from offering advertising and other serves to the owners and tenants of the mall.
But, perhaps most impactful is the introduction of top-notch retail right on the doorstep of this community. Shoppers will have ample choice from South Africa’s most popular retailers including large grocery anchor retailers Shoprite and Pick n Pay, as well as a large Roots Butchery.
A necessity for all, banking services will be brought to the community from ABSA, First National Bank, African Bank, Capitec, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Old Mutual.
Offering the latest in quality apparel to Eyethu Orange Farm Mall customers is an impressive variety of South Africa’s most popular retail brands. These include Foschini, Edgars, Truworths, Identity, Cross Trainer, Markham, Total Sports, Exact!, Legit, Fashion Express, Signature Cosmetics, Pep, Rage, Daniel J, Sterns, Studio 88, Sportscene, Ackermans and Jet.
Keeping shoppers looking and feeling good, the mall’s health and beauty selection includes Link Pharmacy, Clicks, Benyana’s Cosmetics and Mokobake CJ Optometrists Inc. House-proud shoppers will also be spoilt for choice with Sheet Street, Fair Price Furnishers, OK Furniture, Lewis and Pep Home.
For a quick bite to eat, Eyethu Orange Farm Mall shoppers will have offer its shoppers variety from Chicken Licken, KFC, Debonairs, Fishaways, Chesenyama and King Pie. Specialist stores will include Pep Cell, Protea Fax & Copy, MTN, Vodacom Express, Mobile Zone, Sakies Dry Cleaners, Postnet, Foto Focus, Multichoice, Cyber Space Internet Café, Multiserv and more.
The mall will also provide space for informal traders by means of a Traders Square, and the exciting list of formal retailers at Eyethu Orange Farm Mall will be joined by lock-up informal trader stalls placed around the neighbouring taxi rank.