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Pick n Pay brings Masianokeng to life

by Lesotho Times

Bereng Mpaki

PICK n Pay yesterday opened its brand-new branch at the Masianokeng Lifestyle Centre amid high expectations from buyers who flocked forming a long winding queue to take advantage of its opening sale which runs until 23 August 2020.

The store is one of the first to open at the M54 million worth facility. This is Pick n Pay’s second store after the Pioneer Mall branch which opened in 2009.

One of the store’s directors, Samuel Mphana said the store had employed the majority of its 90 employees from the surrounding areas.

Mr Mphana, who is also part of Lesego Holdings, the consortium which developed the centre, said the store would maintain the high-quality service that the franchise is known for.

“The people from this area will be expecting good quality service from the store and that is what we plan to deliver,” Mr Mphana said.

“The majority of the 90 employees of the store have been recruited from the area, which means the community is already benefiting from the project.”

Managing director of the store, Kojang Malahleha, said the store would thrive on becoming a one-stop-shop to enhance customer convenience.

“This store is going to have Pick n Pay Money, which is a financial service for money transfers, water and electricity unit sales and other services. We are bringing services which have previously never been part of the Pick n Pay brand in the country,” Ms Malahleha said.

She said they were happy to create jobs amid the economic downturn and uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Malahleha said the store opening was particularly significant for her as she has grown from being a Pick n Pay an employee to becoming a shareholder in the business.

“It has been a lifelong dream for me to run my own store and not just working as an employee. So, today’s opening of the store is therefore a huge moment for me.

“Today’s date is also significant for me because on this day five years ago I was fighting for my life battling breast cancer. So, being here today is a huge blessing on its own.”

Rethabile Pule, the store’s finance director and shareholder, said he was thrilled to realise his dream of growing within the Pick n Pay brand.

“This has been a long-term dream for me as a long serving employee of the company. It has always been my dream to be part of the growth of the Pick n Pay brand, and I am happy that today we are opening a store in which I have shares.”

Mr Pule joined the Pick n Pay supermarket at the Pioneer Mall branch in January 2011 as a finance manager, and was promoted to finance director in 2017.

He said international travel restrictions imposed by different countries to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic delayed opening of the store.

“Most of our suppliers from South Africa were unable to cross the border into Lesotho due to restrictions on international travel as they were not regarded as essential service providers. We therefore, had to wait until they could be issued with permits to cross the border, and that delayed our opening.”

For his part, area chief Frank Mapetla said he was hopeful the opening of the store would positively impact on the people’s lives.

“I am happy for this development in our community and I anticipate that the shop will change people’s lives positively,” Chief Mapetla said.


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