Another ground -breaker for OMN

Property and insurance giant, Old Mutual Namibia (OMN) extended its foot print in the South last month with the laying of the foundation of the Keetmanshoop Retail Centre valued at N$92m.

The ground-breaking of the foundation was led by President Hifikepunye Pohamba along with other dignitaries including the Karas Region governor, Bernadus Swartbooi and Old Mutual Africa managing director, Johannes !Gawaseb.

“We are marking the commencement of a development project that will change the business landscape of Keetmanshoop. Once completed, the retail centre will contribute significantly to the availability of services for the residents and visitors to this town,” said Pohamba.

The retail centre will officially open in November 2013 within the timeframe of the festive season.

The centre will boast a total of 10 000 m2 of gross space for letting, of which 95% will be for retail and the remaining 5% will be for office space.

Old Mutual Namibia’s own offices in the southern town will be relocated at the centre as well.

Already, 87% of the space has been taken up by tenants whilst negotiations with more potential tenants to take up the remaining retail space, are at an advanced stage.

Confirmed retail tenants include Shoprite, OK Furnishers, Hungry Lion, Shoprite Liquor, Edgars Active, Jet, Legit, CAN, Foschini, Markham, Exact! and Mr Price.

The centre, which was designed by Hugo Scheepers & Augustinho Ferreira architects, is being constructed by NMC Construction Namibia.

Other members of the professional team include Dawid Nel Quantity Surveyors and Windhoek Consulting Engineers.

President Pohamba said he was pleased that OM had decided to invest in a facility that will contribute to the availability of services in Keetmanshoop.

!Gawaxab also emphasised that a thriving private sector is necessary for the Namibian economy to grow and must be nurtured and safe-guarded at all times.

“Through all our initiatives, Old Mutual would like to partner with all key players, notably Government, so that we can in an integrated fashion foster sustainable economic growth and eliminate poverty,” he said.

!Gawaxab also highlighted the need for the private sector to invest in long-term commercial opportunities in order to secure the future.

He also appealed to the stakeholders to support the project so as to ensure its successful fruition as planned.

Swartbooi stressed how the occasion marked another milestone in the drive to focus on job creation, a thorn in the Namibian community.

Thus he focused on the need to improve the lives of the people.

“We wish to create a new economy in this region driven by renewable energy sources and by promoting business tourism. We are extremely positive about the future,” highlighted Swartbooi. PF

All in all, this milestone is a visual representation of OM’s commitment and signifies its continued efforts to create a favourable climate for private sector investments in collaboration with the Government. PF