PALAPYE: A P50 million shopping mall will soon be built in Extension 10, Palapye.
The mall, which is property of Prime Seal Investments, will comprise of 12 apartments with shops downstairs, a parking lot that can accommodate 470 cars and a filling station.
Speaking during a kgotla meeting to seek permission from Palapye residents as part of their Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA), Moemedi Leso, the director of Arid Consultancy - the company that will be constructing the mall - said that the mall would create employment for Palapye residents.
He promised the residents that first priority will be given to them saying that about 100 to 200 people will be hired during the construction.
“Not only will the mall boost the village or should I say the town‘s economic diversification efforts, but it will help in the creation of jobs for the residents during and after the construction,” he said.
He said that the mall would as well attract investors hence more developments to the village and revitalising Palapye.
In addition, he said the mall would ease the traffic flow on the A1 road as some vehicles going to Gaborone can opt to use Extension 10 routes.
The mall will be built on a two-hectare plot and construction is expected to start in 18 months’ time.
On their part, residents expressed joy and excitement over the upcoming mall saying that it will put them on the map.
Maina Kgopo said that they appreciate the mall, as it will employ their children who are currently roaming the streets and sometimes resorting to criminal activities.
However, he was discouraged that the company did not consult them during the designing of the mall, which is very important as they could have shared what they want as residents to be included in the construction of the mall.
“Many malls here have no public toilets. So if the company could have consulted us first before designing we could have suggested they include public toilets,” he said.
Kgopo also suggested that during the construction, the contractors should empower the villagers by renting their houses out instead of building their own camping sites.
“I am also hoping for the empowerment of informal sectors by providing them with space where they can operate their small businesses once the mall is finished, which also boosts the economy of the country as well as eradicating poverty,” he said.
Khurumela Ward councillor, George Makhura emphasised on employment for Palapye residents saying most companies often give priority to expatriates than locals.
He said he was also of the belief that skills that are needed during the construction are locally available and there will not be any need to engage the expatriates.