Media release from Moolman Group – 28 June 2023

Construction of the multi-million Princess Mkabayi Mall goes ahead in KZN

The retail landscape in Vryheid will be bolstered by a sustainable new world-class shopping mall.

Construction on the Princess Mkabayi Mall in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, is underway, much to the excitement of locals who have long been awaiting the opening of this new shopping centre.

Development is progressing quickly with earthworks having commenced and the mall already 75% let – almost 18 months ahead of its October 2024 opening.

This project has been years in the making, with the original sod-turning ceremony taking place in 2021. It has now gained pace, with the official site handover occurring at the beginning of this month and a site visit with shareholders, municipal representatives, and local role-players on 27 June 2023.

Named after the fierce Zulu warrior princess, which name was authorised and blessed by the late Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu in a meeting between His Majesty and Mr Roux Shabangu, the single-level 30,000sqm regional mall will rival some of the best shopping destinations in the province and bring an air of sophistication to the retail landscape in the AbaQulusi Local Municipality area.

It is set to be the biggest consolidated retail offering in an almost 100-kilometre radius and will also form part of a larger mixed-use development that aims to eventually include an office park, a hotel and casino and upmarket apartments.

The Princess Mkabayi Mall is co-owned by the reputable partnership of Moolman Group, Twin City, JB Holdings, and Green Giraffe, which has a well-established track record of partnering on and delivering, various large and successful projects.

The Moolman Group’s Steph Beyers says this shareholder partnership is excited about the prospect of offering Vryheid and the surrounding regions a centralised retail proposition.

“We are pleased and proud to move ahead on this long-awaited project and further encouraged by the enthusiastic retailer response. This is an incredible achievement for all,” says Beyers.

Situated on a prime, easily accessible 23ha site, Princess Mkabayi Mall will be home to an exciting mix of national tenants and retailers that are not yet represented in the region. It will be anchored by Shoprite, Checkers, Dis-Chem, Woolworths with a food offering, and Clicks. Other new additions include Cape Union Mart, Old Khaki, Crazy Plastics, and Crazy Pets.

In addition to the obvious retail advantages of the mall, its location on Oos Street – bound by Vryheid Airport and Hoërskool Pionier – makes it ideal for shoppers. Furthermore, it is positioned just south of Vryheid’s centre, on a juncture of main roads that lead to schools, residential neighbourhoods, and other outlying areas, and within close proximity to both the Lake Side and Bheka Zala townships.

Access to, and exit from, the shopping centre’s 831 free open parking bays will be via two entrances, and public transport will enjoy the central taxi rank.

Even more exciting, says Ryno de Leeuw of Twin City, is that Princess Mkabayi Mall will be solar-powered and equipped with a generator to ensure non-stop shopping during load shedding.

“Adding to its environmentally friendly credentials, the mall will also have its own water plant from which water will be used in the irrigation system for the gardens,” says de Leeuw.

Among the mall’s many highlights is its beautiful and deeply considered interior that has various artistic touchpoints and thoughtful details that create an excellent overall experience.

“Shoppers at Mkabayi Mall will be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi, charging stations, workstations and comfortable seating,” adds Moolman Group Retail Director Sonke Moolman-Pautz. “The mall will include a large entertainment space and play area for children, a central meeting area, and eateries for all tastes.”

Even the main entrance will feature exciting design elements to accommodate and entertain visitors.

Ultimately, says Roux Shabangu of JB Holdings, Princess Mkabayi Mall will “quench the need for a retail facility in the region and become a sought-after and convenient shopping destination for the people of its area and its province”.

Princess Mkabayi Mall has been designed by MDS Architects.