Lephalale Local Municipality Mayor Cllr Moloko Jack Maeko rendered the item of introduction of guest speaker during the official opening of Phahladira Mall in Shongoane.
Maeko acknowledged the Royal council that attended, from Shongoane, Kekana, Mashashane, Langa and Tauetsoala.
Prior to introducing guest speaker, The Limpopo Department of Economic Development (LEDET) MEC Seaparo Sekoati, Maeko said he was dedicating the day to the women of 1956 whose dream of seeing a non- sexist and non -racial society has now been realised.
He said their vision as municipality is to build Lephalale into a better place to become a first city in a democratic South Africa by ensuring villages are well developed as this will help villagers to not travel long distance to do their shopping because a mall has now been built at home.
Phahladira Mall has 340 people employed, of which 20 are non- locals.
The 20 non locals are meant to transfer skills and in a year’s period locals should be occupying senior positions at the operating stores within the mall.
Maeko said if what happened at Phahladira Mall (employing 320 locals out of 340) had happened years earlier at major companies operating in Lephalale, a lot would have positively been in favour of Lephalale and its people, with at least 95% of locals employed.
More than 6 shops belonging to black businesses are to operate in Phahladira Mall and that according to him ‘fulfils the fight for economic freedom in our lifetime’.
He urged business people to work collectively to reach positive goals for Lephalale Municipality.
“This year we will strengthen Local Economic Development Unit to progress Lephalale economy. We want to ensure that local businesses benefit from mega projects that are in Lephalale.
It is worrisome that catering is the common business locals seem to run in these projects.
Local black companies that benefit from Medupi, Matimba and Exxaro are in the minority, as a result the 2016/2017 plan is to ensure local businesses are considered and assisted by these companies.
We want to strengthen the economy of Lephalale Municipality by empowering small businesses and help informal business to become formal and get recognition.
We will also focus our attention on Industrial Park and review it.
A lot of goods used at big companies in Lephalale are seemingly purchased from outside Lephalale and we want to change that by looking at means of procuring suppliers in Lephalale”; said Maeko.
In conclusion and addition to the MEC’s speech, Maeko said they are in the plan to get pipeline to deliver water to the villages to improve people’s lives