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MANZINI - The first phase of the construction of Matsapha Link Retail Centre will bring 250 job opportunities. The project is the brainchild of African Alliance, a reputable investment firm.

This was revealed by Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo during the launch of the mall. The total cost of the first phase of the project was launched yesterday and cost E140 million inclusive of interiors, while the second phase will be in the next 12 months with a similar amount, and the total cost of the projects anticipated to be around E280 million.


The minister mentioned that the execution of the project embraced the strategic collaboration among emaSwati teams from engineering, construction, glazing and all other related works. “This is a sign of confidence in Matsapha and the country attaining job creation which is anticipated to be at least 250 while employment during construction is at 200. We expect these construction jobs to be retained as phase two will begin immediately,” he said.
Khumalo said it was a First World design building to provide first class shopping experience which had also been constructed using the finest materials in the construction industry to better accommodate the taste of consumers from all walks of life.

He highlighted that in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the kingdom did not only recognise the pandemic as a health crisis but also as an economic challenge that would hamper economic growth. The minister mentioned that government formulated the Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan anchored on existing policies and strategies under the theme ‘Carving the path to a private sector-led economy’. He articulated that this project was highlighted as one of the retail sector anchor projects in the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).


Meanwhile, he stated that this investment had certainly changed perceptions about Matsapha as an industrial town, which was perfectly located for local and international investors. “This is a town that is showing resilience and progress in driving change from industrial to world class design. The project has been initiated and implemented through the engagement of the best architects and has used the best finishes,” he said.

The minister elaborated that the design could compete with any retail centre in any country. He also acknowledged the sterling role played by the leadership of African Alliance in the implementation of the ERP. Khumalo revealed that he was called by Tony De Castro, the Founding Senior Partner of the African Alliance Group of Companies.


The minister said de Castro affirmed to him that African Alliance would continue to execute against a strong pipeline of sizeable projects including the upcoming multibillion project in Manzini called Manzini Arch. The minister wished Matsapha Link Retail Centre success in its business ventures and pledged government’s support in providing an enabling business environment.

Meanwhile, Chairman of African Alliance S’thofeni Ginindza said as they opened their stores, they were customer-centric and were open to feedback from customers. He stated that what was happening in Russia and Ukraine in terms of inflation was not far-fetched but a reality which was already impacting on emaSwati. Ginindza shared that he had returned from the USA and was amazed at the high cost of products in that country.

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