Shopping Centre Subsidises SME Leases

Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob was particularly impressed that the owners of Okahandja Shopping Centre are subsidising the rental of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to encourage SMEs to use the centre as a platform to grow their business.

“Okahandja Shopping Centre is remarkable in the sense that it is an illustration of how Vision 2030 comes to life. This project speaks to the heart of Vision 2030 and therefore makes this a memorable occasion,” said Geingob at the inauguration last week Thursday.

The Mayor of Okahandja, Valerie Aron, said the centre would boost the image of the town and give it the feeling of a city.

She said that some may “just see the shopping centre”, but there are a number of benefits that come with it, such as the elevation of the town’s status, the economic boost, ongoing employment opportunities and the mind-shift of the community to believe they can achieve much more.

Geingob noted there is a major construction boom in the country driven by the development of new mines such as the Husab uranium mine, Otjikoto gold mine and the Tschudi copper mine, expansion of Walvis Bay harbour, construction of the Neckartal dam, new malls, the Swakopmund Multi-Purpose Sport Centre, the mass housing project and new roads. He reminisced on his days in Okahandja in the 1960s when he was a pupil at Augustineum, the first secondary school for blacks in the town. He said what the apartheid authorities did not realise was that what was supposed to divide them actually united them, as people came together from every part of the country. He said the development of infrastructure is vital to the country’s regional and international economic competitiveness, which forms the physical backbone of any town’s development.

The Okahandja Shopping Centre was built at a cost of N$180 million, and has created over 800 indirect and direct employment opportunities. The centre was constructed by Germou Holdings, owned by Namibian businessman Gerrit Mouton, who Geingob hailed as one of the investors making a measurable difference in the communities in which they operate.

Source : New Era