Plaza real fillip for rural Peddie’s jobless

The Peddie Plaza Shopping Centre, which has been operating since late last month, is to be opened officially on Thursday, with a special ceremony. The new mall which boasts stores Rage, Pep cell and Jet is yet to open it’s anchoring tenant, Boxer stores, tomorrow morning. The small town is a hive of activity as SABI construction does some last-minute touch-ups. Giant retail company Boxer is the anchor tenant.

More than 300 jobs have been created for the people of Peddie with the recent development of the R30m Peddie Plaza Shopping Centre.

The new centre, developed as a joint venture between local businessmen Mark Povey, Neil Owen and A and J Properties, boasts a number of clothing stores including Jet, Rage, Pep and giant retail company, Boxer – which has brought their supermarket and liquor outlet – as the anchoring tenant.

While other stores opened their doors last month, Boxer opens theirs on Thursday.

Sabi Construction site manager Dino Opperman said the Durban-based company which built the mall employed about 200 labourers and semi-skilled workers for bricklaying, plastering, paving and painting.

“What we could find locally, we used. As well as people, we sourced material – sand and bricks – supporting local hardware stores, although we also brought our own material from Durban.

“There was a lot of skills transfer and this has given the community an opportunity to proudly say they built the mall,” he said.

Boxer national operations director Chris Theron said they had employed 95 staff members for the new branch, 80 of whom had been sourced from the local community.

“We’re not a supermarket, we’re a discounter.

“Our aim is to always find ways of improving the livelihood of the communities we serve.

“With this store we’ve created 80 jobs for the local community, while for 15 managerial positions, we have promoted our staff from neighbouring stores, to afford them the chance to grow,” he said.

Theron said the modern store would offer rural customers a unique shopping experience.

“We’ve come to them offering a variety of services including payment facilities, cash withdrawals, a deli, fruit and vegetables and a bakery,” he said. Boxer now has 38 supermarkets, 13 liquor stores and 15 Boxer Build hardware stores in the Eastern Cape.

Customer relations officer Sibusiso Madondo said as part of its celebratory opening, give vouchers of R3,000 would be given to the Nqushwa Special Needs Centre, Peddie Family Resource Centre and Fezeka and Ayliff Primary schools. “Every month we will also support two different NPOs with vouchers of R1,000 each,” he said.

First-time worker Lizwi Madoli, 26, said he was excited to finally get a job.

“Now I can support my dad at home and together we can make things happen for our family,” he said.

Mother of three, Vuyisiwe Alviti, from New Rest village, said the opening of the Boxer store would bring much-needed relief to their pockets.

“We traveled to King William’s Town to buy from Boxer because of their [savings deals] and apart from the travelling expenses, we had to worry about our groceries in the taxi, they could melt, get spoilt or even get stolen.”

Thembisa Sidawu said the new mall signified they were not just a small village.

“I can now proudly say I am from Peddie. We are now a real town and can use the new mall as our landmark,” she said.

Povey said in addition to the new mall, they were engaging with the municipality about developing the taxi rank, with plans of providing it with shaded parking.


Publication: DispatchLive

Date: 25 Oct 2018

Written by: Mbali Tanana