The developers of Namib Housing, who are constructing the Okahandja Shopping Mall, said the construction of the mall, which is in its 3rd phase, has exceeded N$250m already.
According to developer Garth Mouton, the construction of the mall is expected to finish at a cost of at least N$300 million.
The construction commenced in February 2013, and with the completion of phase two in November 2014, they are currently busy with the construction of phase 3, which includes a state-of-the-art gym, office space as well as warehouse space.
It is located on the corner of the B1 and M187 (Gross Barmen Road).
According to Mouton, approximately 300 direct employment opportunities were created during the construction phase, with the total number of new jobs created having increased over 1000 after the completion of the mall. This plays a vital role in curbing the high unemployment rate facing the country.
“This investment serves as an important retail hub for the town as residents no longer need to travel to Windhoek to do shopping.
The centre is targetting mainly the local residents living in Okahandja and the surrounding areas.
However, many tourists choose to make the centre a pit-stop before travelling to the northern and western parts of the country,” explained Mouton.
The wholly-owned Namibian mall was officially inaugurated by the then-Prime Minister, who is now the country’s president, Dr Hage Geingob.
According to Mouton, the construction of the centre is not only a contributing factor in boosting the economy of the town of Okahandja, which is mostly referred to as the Garden Town, but it also enables the town to carry a strong significance as an additional trade hub for the Otjozondjupa Region at large.
“The shopping centre also contributes greatly in making the town more attractive for prospective residents to move to the town,” he stated.
According to Mouton, his company is in the process of acquiring additional land in Okahandja in the area where the shopping centre is, where he then plans to undertake a massive and extensive mixed development, which will comprise housing as well as commercial and light industries.
According to Okahandja, mayor Valerie Aron, the mall development comes as a relief to the residents of the town as they normally used to drive to the nearest big shops to do their shopping, which are in Windhoek.
“At least the residents of Okahandja now have their own shopping mall here, which allows them to do their shopping locally.
It is also cost-saving for them with regards to transport costs, and is also very convenient,” she stated.
According to Aron, the shopping mall is a first of its kind as there was no mall in the town of Okahandja before, and it also plays a vital role as it boosts the town’s economy and that of the country at large.
“All the people who live on the nearby farms such as Ovitoto now also do their shopping at the newly-developed mall.
The shopping mall thus doesn’t only cater or accommodate Okahandja residents alone, but also residents living in the vicinity of Okahandja and nearby settlements,” Aron continued.
According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Okahandja Municipality, Beren Kaurimuje, the investment is a big boost to the economy of the town because the shopping centre accommodates over 40 shops, and it’s evident that there are people working in every shop.
“By looking at the multitude of shops the mall itself has, we can really say that it assisted with the reduction of unemployment in the town.
It is also a good investment for the town of Okahandja as this is the only mall here,” said Kaurimuje.