Indian opens 'dream mall' in South Africa
Sayed Mia opened a new mall, complete with shopping arcades and multiplex, in the South African town of Lenasia.india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 11:20 IST
A South African Indian businessman's three-decades-old dream finally came true with the opening of his new shopping centre, inaugurated by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngquka at a glittering function in Johannesbug.
Sayed Mia's Trade Route mall boasts not only of almost all major national retail groups under one roof but also of having the first major cinema multiplex in many years in Gauteng province.
The mall in the sprawling mainly Indian township of Lenasia had been open for business for past three weeks and has already brought in record turnovers and footfalls for a number of the national stores and local retailers accommodated in the building.
The inauguration saw an enthralling performance by stars of the Bollywood show Fusion, that was thoroughly enjoyed by around 2,000 guests present.
Addressing the gathering, Mia and his partner Ismail Valli recounted the trials that local businessmen faced under the draconian apartheid laws effectively prohibiting them for decades from entering businesses.
The multiplex, developed by the Avalon Group and overseen by AB Moosa, the third generation in a pioneering South African Indian family involved in the entertainment industry, will screen the latest Bollywood and Hollywood movies.
The deputy president lauded the businessmen's initiative as something that would boost the economic development of not only the community of Lenasia but also of the neighbouring communities of Soweto, Eldorado Park, Ennerdale in the region known as the deep south of Johannesburg, all created in the apartheid era to forcibly remove Indians, Blacks and Coloureds (mixed race) from the city centre and its environs.
"It will also boost tourism to Lenasia and I look forward to coming here as a tourist to take my family out, and if I happen to bump into my husband, I'll also bring him here!" Mlambo-Ngquka quipped.