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Bringing shops to the people

Posted On Wednesday, 22 October 2003 02:00 Published by
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ASSET management company Futuregrowth's property division has created permanent jobs for about 3500 people so far by building shopping centres in poor areas.

Property Reporter

ASSET management company Futuregrowth's property division has created permanent jobs for about 3500 people so far by building shopping centres in poor areas.

The division hopes these developments will lead to people staying in these areas instead of moving into cities.

Futuregrowth is 40% owned by FirstRand, 40% by Wipcapital and 20% by staff. Wayne van der Vent, a director of Futuregrowth and head of its property division, said his division managed the Community Property Fund, which has 14 retail properties in rural and township areas . The value of the fund is about R300m.

Van der Vent said the division had provided long-term employment for about 3500 people, while 6,5-million people received its retail services.

"We go to areas which don't have retail facilities, but have large populations."

In the short term 10000 jobs were created during construction. The property division has created new economies where none existed before.

"We also put in additional infrastructure such as taxi ranks and with that comes the possibility to build service stations," Van der Vent says.

This starts creating central business districts with economies of their own, he says.

Van der Vent said the division recently completed a shopping centre in Thulamahashe, near Bushbuckridge in Limpopo, where about 500000 people would have previously had to travel to Nelspruit or White River to shop.

"There wouldn't have been job opportunities. They are now able to purchase goods and services and find jobs on their doorstep."

The division has just negotiated for a service station, which will be next to the taxi rank, he says. The cost of the centre was R18m, of which at least half would have gone on labour, a direct injection of money into the area.

Oct 22 2003 07:28:20:000AM Nick Wilson Business Day 1st Edition


Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day
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