DIVUNDU – The Divundu village will soon boast a state-of-the-art shopping mall, which is expected to transform the face of the Kavango East local authority.
The new development is being undertaken by the Helmsman Group at the cost of N$42 million.
The mall is expected to be officially open for business in November this year.
Divundu is situated 200km east of Rundu along the Trans Caprivi Highway on the south-eastern banks of the Kavango River, with less than 6 000 inhabitants, according to the last census.
Although it is strategically located, it is far from most essential commodities, forcing residents to travel to Rundu for some basic services.
“Divundu has the potential to grow exponentially and even outgrow some of the existing towns and villages. We, therefore, made it our responsibility to bring goods and services closer to the people of Divundu and the surrounding areas,” said Chinese businesswoman Stina Wu, founder and executive chairperson of Helmsman group.
The first phase of the shopping mall includes a total of 46 shops of various sizes, while the complex will also boast with some of the latest technology, such as cell phone charging booths and free Wi-Fi for customers.
“We must commend the village leadership and administration for their desire for sustainable development; they have provided us with a very conducive atmosphere for business and investment to take place in an unhindered manner,” Wu noted.
The construction of this shopping mall is at an advanced stage. The first phase of the mall is built on 15 000 square meters with trading spaces of different sizes to cater for the varying needs of various prospective tenants.
“We are equally proud to
inform the nation that we are profoundly privileged to have tenants such as Choppies supermarket, PEP stores, MultiChoice, Nampost, Furnmart, ATMs from two local banks, a pharmacy, a medical doctor’s consultation, as well as other local medium and small businesses,” she said.
“We have all along entered unchartered waters and have been successful in all our development projects in rural areas, thereby contributing towards improving the living standards of our communities in rural areas, along with creating value for society.”
The Helmsman Group has been involved in the property development segment in Kavango East for quite some time.
Their first development project in Kavango East was the development of the Galaxy Mall in Rundu, which was followed by the construction of 260 houses at the same town.
Mukwe constituency councillor Damian Maghambayi believes the new development will boost the local economy.
“All we need to do is support our business community – and at the same time, they should be aware of their social responsibility when bringing such businesses to communities. My call is that we would like to see local entrepreneurs participating in doing business in this complex to compete with other businesses,” he said.
With this development, we are expecting retailers as well as hardware stores to now open in Divundu to bring the much-needed building materials – as at the moment, one has to drive a round trip of 400 km to Rundu, just to go buy cement and other building materials.”
Maghambayi noted the constituency is still inviting investors to look for opportunities in Divundu.
The construction of the mall currently employs about 110 people, who mainly hail from Divundu and surroundings.