Bongani Mdakane | 12th November 2023
Despite challenges faced by Akani Retirement Fund Administrators through an ongoing investigation conducted by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FCSA), the company’s subsidiary, Akani Properties has unveiled the R500-million Autumn Leaf Shopping Mall in Zeerust at Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality, North West.
Akani Properties is a black-owned and managed property development, management and investment company. The company opened its doors to shoppers, with major retailers such as PEP, Checkers, Truworths and big banks having secured trading space.
This shopping mall development, which includes a taxi rank and a fuel station, became possible after Akani Properties in conjunction with the Municipal Employees Pension Fund clubbed together.
In its first phase of a mixed-use property development, there will also be a hotel and a hospital.
In a development that will transform Zeerust into a bustling transit town and economic node on the border between South Africa and Botswana, the project also saw local suppliers and SMMEs, including local communities, benefit through projects and job creation.
The project employs about 500 people.
MEC, economic development in the province, Virginia Tlhapi. said: “The N4 road and Botswana border remain Ramotshere Moiloa’s important competitive advantage, which should be harnessed through continuous infrastructure development and diversification.” Akani Properties chairman, Zamani Letjane said: “We are excited to add Autumn Leaf to our growing portfolio of retail assets in South Africa. “Investing in peri-urban towns such as Zeerust is in line with the investment thesis of our client, the Municipal Employees Pension Fund, which believes that peri-urban towns such as Zeerust present growth opportunities and will stem the tide of migration to big cities and contribute to job creation and economic growth in this largely rural province of North West.”
Akani Properties has a number of shopping centres, malls and hotels, which include the exclusive Nicolway Bryanston, Secunda Shopping Centre, Radisson Hotel and Destiny Exclusive Hotel in Kempton Park.
In August, Sunday World reported on how Akani Retirement Fund Administrators officials had opened criminal cases against FSCA investigators on allegations of theft and assault. One of the top officials who opened the case against the FSCA was Letjane, who claimed that the investigators had stolen R100 000 in cash and a desktop in his office when it was raided in July last year.
However, the FSCA repudiated claims that its investigators who raided the offices of Akani Retirement Fund Administrators in Kempton Park had stolen cash and a desktop, and also denied allegations of assault.
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