The Fairview Shopping Mall project in eSwatini is set to create over 500 jobs, with 250 of them expected to be permanent. The E100 million project was launched by Minister of Housing and Urban Development Prince Simelane on Tuesday, with the contract awarded to Mbhilibhi Group. The project, which was conceptualized by the Municipality of Manzini and advertised for the private sector’s uptake through the Public Private Partnership concept, will be developed by a consortium consisting of Inyatsi Construction Group, MA Properties, and the Municipality.
According to Lungile Dlamini, CEO of the Municipality, the partnership came about as a result of a rigorous procurement process. The consortium’s proposal was successful in partnering with the municipal council of Manzini for the development of the Fairview mixed-use commercial center. These three partners have agreed to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) by the name of Fimac, which is the investment company developing the Fairview mixed-use commercial center.
Prince Simelane believes that this project will contribute to His Majesty’s vision of developing the country into a first world. He stated that the Ministry has been supporting the project from its conceptualization up to the point where it was being launched for commencement with construction. Speaking on behalf of Inyatsi Construction Group, CEO Gcina Matsebula stated that the shopping complex would bring numerous benefits to the community of Fairview, its surroundings, and Manzini at large.
“It will create job opportunities, stimulate economic growth and provide a convenient shopping experience for residents. We are confident that this project will be a catalyst for positive change in the community, and we look forward to the positive impact it will have on the lives of people in this area,” said Matsebula.
The project scope is a 4,500 square meter shopping center that includes shops, a drive-through entering shops, and a filling station. The construction is set to begin on July 1 and is expected to be implemented in 12 months. MA Properties Managing Director, Muzi Dlamini gave an overview of the project in terms of designs and development plan.
“We can safely announce that we have a very strong list of tenants who have expressed interest, however, cannot be mentioned here as yet. We also have an interested person in the drive-through eatery and further signed an MoU with the operator of the filling stations,” said Dlamini.
The Fairview Shopping Mall project is an excellent example of successful public-private partnerships in eSwatini. It demonstrates that municipalities and local private companies are maturing in the conceptualization and implementation of public-private partnerships in the country. The PPPs concept is another vehicle that will go a long way in stimulating economic growth, creating job opportunities, and growing SMMEs and big businesses in the city and country at large.
To stimulate the economy, we need not rely on government funding but also look at what role the private sector has to play in the development of the country. The Fairview Shopping Mall project is a testament to this fact, and we hope that it will serve as an inspiration for similar projects in eSwatini.