Sisa Ngebulana, the high flying businessman, propertyman to be precise, has gone back to his roots, Mthatha, to facilitate development in a project which surely marks his path as one of the greatest in the post 1994 South Africa.
The founder and executive chairman of Billion Group, dubbed one of Africa’s leading property developers, officially broke ground on a site to house a R1.3bn retail development, the BT Ngebs Mall in Mthatha.
Ngebulana said BT Ngebs Mall forms part of Billion Group’s R16 billion investment earmarked for the Eastern Cape region over the next 10 years which will create thousands of job opportunities and contribute millions of Rands to the local fiscus. Highlights in this development pipeline include the R2bn Bay West Mall in Port Elizabeth. The billion Group has other developments on the pipeline across the country and there is talk of 12 retail developments across the sub-Saharan region. The Billion Group spun out the JSE listed property fund Rebosis.
On the BT Ngebs Mall, Ngebulana who grew up in Mthatha, said “This development is very close to my heart – we are very excited about the opportunities it will unlock in the region”.
“At a cost of R1.3 billion, BT Ngebs Mall will not only create thousands of sustainable jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities but our R60 million infrastructure investment will assist in addressing Mthatha’s road, electricity and other infrastructure challenges.”
A Billion Group statement said at almost 60 000 m2, BT Ngebs Mall will be the largest shopping centre of its kind in the region and will service approximately 390 000 existing households in an area with a current retail undersupply of 477 341 m2. Located just off the freeway on Errol Springs Avenue, the mall offers easy access and egress as well as 1 975 parking bays.
The statement added that for the first time, shoppers will have access to South Africa’s largest retailers and various food and fashion franchises under one roof, offering a wider choice and better value for patrons. Confirmed retailers include Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Clicks, Food Lovers Market, Woolworths, Foschini Emporium, Truworths, Edgars, Jet, @Home, Fabiani, Jenni Button, Hilton Weiner, Aca Joe, Urban, Vertigo, Soviet, Queue, Franco Ceccato, John Craig, the major banks, House & Home, various food franchises, The Hub, Identity, Totalsports, Sportscene, Exact, Pep, Studio 88, Legit and CNA.
Ngebulana expects that up to 2 500 job opportunities will be created during the construction phase, followed by an additional 2 300 to 2 500 permanent positions jointly through Billion Group and its tenants, once trading starts.
“The development will also create a number of entrepreneurial opportunities within the region, such as potential supply chain agreements, care and maintenance contracts and the provision of a retail platform within the mall for products and services,” said Ngebulana.
He added that BT Ngebs Mall forms part of Billion Group’s R16 billion investment earmarked for the Eastern Cape region over the next 10 years, which will create thousands of job opportunities and contribute millions of Rands to the local fiscus.