Following a much-needed facelift a year in the making, one of Ghetto’s oldest malls, Blue Jacket Plaza was officially reopened last Friday.
The new and improved shopping centre, best known for housing Shoprite, was rendered open for business by Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane in a ceremony fittingly held under the theme ‘Ya Zwagwa Butshwa’ (iKalanga for ‘the rebirth’).
As well as a number of new retail shops, from clothe stores to appliance outlets, the revamped mall is home to the only escalator in the second city.
Located on the top floor (of one), the car park also doubles as an entertainment space available for hire to host events and is where Friday’s well-attended ceremony took place.
In his role as Guest of Honour, Tsogwane praised the project for injecting a new lease of life into one of Francistown’s busiest malls.
“Blue Jacket Plaza holds a special place in the hearts of Francistown’s residents and it has a symbol of unity, progress and vibrancy for generations,” declared the VP, adding such an initiative was not simply about giving a physical space a facelift but rather about investing in the very future of Francistown.
“It is about creating an environment where businesses can thrive, where families can gather and where dreams can take flight,” he continued.
Tsogwane predicted the investment in the mall will serve as a catalyst for economic growth by attracting further investors and providing employment opportunities through the shops that open up in the extended retail space.
For his part, Khumo Properties Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Outule Bale, whose company owns the mall and oversaw the renovations, explained their priority was to enhance the mall’s aesthetics while increasing its size.
“We wanted to create a modern and inviting environment that would attract shoppers and provide a delightful ambiance,” he said.