MASERU-BASED shopping complex, Pioneer Mall, on Tuesday held a “Champagne Breakfast” in commemoration of five years in operation since opening in 2009.
At its inception, only Phase I of the mall, which is owned by Moruo Development, was opened. In November 2012, shareholders extended the mall to the Phase II stage with the general public also able to buy shares.
According to Moruo Development Managing Director, Andre Bothma Pioneer Mall was marking the half a decade of “commitment, hard-work and success” attained after turning a wasteland into a mall that offers Basotho a one stop shopping and entertainment platform.
“Moruo Development, having realised the need for having many shops under one roof, developed the mall since Basotho had to go to South Africa to do their shopping,” said Mr Bothma.
“The mall has not only performed beyond everybody’s expectations, but has been able to support Basotho through its corporate social responsibility programmes. Pioneer Mall currently has 1 200 shareholders who are due to be increased shortly.
“Last year the mall had over six and half million visitors which we perceive as a great achievement.”
Speaking at the same event Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing Minister Sk’hulumi Ntsoaole hailed Moruo Development for fostering job creation.
“The lack of proper infrastructure in Lesotho, especially office or shop buildings and rentable space, has been a great challenge towards development of this country,” Mr Ntsoaole said.
“But since the construction and opening of Pioneer Mall in 2009, as well as its extension in 2012, we have seen 24 000 square metres of space available for letting which is 100 percent occupied.
“The existence of Pioneer Mall has contributed significantly towards job creation as we have witnessed 1 400 permanent jobs and other indirect employment. Therefore, the government of Lesotho remains indebted to Moruo Development for the job well done.
“The invitation of Basotho to buy shares in the development of the mall has also been a great gesture, and as time progresses, we shall see Basotho, who constitute 85 percent of the shares, reap the benefits of their investments.”
The minister further stated the biggest challenge the nation still faces is producing goods that can be supplied to the mall for resale.