Durban – The launch of Oceans Mall which is part of the multibillion-rand mixed use Oceans Umhlanga Development has been celebrated by the authorities as a win for job creation and tourism.
The high-end centre was launched on Friday. The who’s who in business, political and society attended to witness a game changer in the economic sector. The project, which began in 2016, created 6 000 jobs during construction and another 2 500 permanent jobs. It has been classified by the city of Durban as a catalytic development.
Vivian Reddy, co-developer of the Oceans Mall, said the double awardwinning internationally-acclaimed development was recognised for its unique, curvilinear architecture. He said retail giant Checkers, one of the anchor tenants, was designed to look and feel like a specialist-store within-a-store.
A variety of restaurants catering for different tastes would also be available, he said. Premium international fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry and Versace, among others, would be launched in March and located in the exclusive fashion section of the mall.
Reddy said: “Oceans Mall is distinctive and geared for all tastes, including the sophisticated and affluent shopper. It’s a world-class offering that is positioned among the top three exclusive malls in the country.” Mall co-developer Rob Alexander said the project had overcome all challenges and that he was pleased to witness the official opening.
Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC president Prasheen Maharaj said developments of this magnitude yielded positive economic spinoffs for Durban through increased rates collection. “We are confident that the mall will create both direct and indirect jobs across several economic value chains.
As organised business, we believe we need to work together and advance our city,” he said. Maharaj said the development would serve as a tourist attraction and help support the tourism sector during the festive period. “We anticipate many local and foreign shoppers visiting the mall over the next few weeks,” he said. Siyabonga Didi, the vice-chairperson of Umhlanga Tourism, said the mall would attract more visitors to the region.
“This is very good for the economy. I hope the regular visitors can extend their stay in our region to enjoy more activities that we have to offer. “Shopping experience has been one of the key attractions in our region over the years,” said Didi. KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the opening of the Oceans Mall could not have happened at a better time.
“It comes at a time when the province is gearing up for the festive season, which will see throngs of visitors coming to KZN to spend their hard-earned income. “The influx of visitors and tourists to our beautiful province is always welcomed because it boosts the economic coffers of the province,” said Dube-Ncube.