New Mtwalume mall has got some people ‘smoking’ mad

Not everyone is happy about the proposed building of a mall in Mtwalume.

CHIEF Bhekizizwe Luthuli is puzzled why his community is so against his dream R35 million mall at Mtwalume that they are prepared to burn tyres and intimidate workers to stop construction.

The Mathulini clan chief said: “It’s so confusing as I followed every procedure, requesting permission from the Ngonyama Trust Board and even went as far as obtaining permission from Cogta when the local uMzumbe municipality failed to show sufficient interest.”

Speaking at a press conference held at the Mathulini traditional court last Wednesday, he said: “These people are trying to bring the area down and prevent job creation.”

He sad the development of the mall was a ‘dream coming true’ for him.

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“In 1998, I started asking business people to come on board and build a mall. In 1993, I was given the go-ahead to put this dream into action, but lacked finance,” he said.

Chief Bhekizizwe Luthuli (left) at the proposed site of the mall, with Tony Eric Haymon of Hyatt Investment.

Finally, in 2012, Hyatt Investment came on board.

However, he still had to get permission from the Ngonyama Trust Board.

They agreed and people who had houses on the site were duly compensated and given new houses by the board at a cost of R1.5 million.

Nevertheless, Chief Luthuli is determined to go ahead and is confident it will be built by August this year.

Although it was difficult to speak to any of the protesters, political motives are believed to be behind the turmoil.

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Ntandoyenkosi Dlamini
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