The artist's impression of the completed Makhado Crossing regional shopping mall clearly indicates the planned traffic circle.
Date: 29 April 2019 By: Andries van Zyl
As part of the construction process of the new Makhado Crossing Mall in Louis Trichardt, residents might see some changes to the town’s layout in the next couple of months.
Over the past few weeks, residents of Rooibok Street have reported seeing people hammering in wooden markers in the park on the corner of Leeu Street and the R524 road to Thohoyandou, opposite the municipal show grounds. This begged the question: What are they planning and who is planning it?
Some speculated that the park was to be converted into a taxi rank, while others deducted that it must be a new filling station. Still others said that they would not be surprised if a driving school had decided to convert the park into a driving-school training site.
Speculation turned into fact when graders started moving in during the past week, pushing away truck-loads of dirt to build what looked like roads. However, the Makhado Municipality had yet to respond to a media enquiry about the proposed development in the park sent two weeks ago.
A clue as to what is happening in the park came with the publication of the artist’s impression of the new Makhado Mall in last week’s edition of the Zoutpansberger. In the image, one can clearly see a traffic circle right opposite Orange Street where it connects with the R524.
When asked if the earthworks in the park might pertain to the planned traffic circle as part of the Makhado Crossing development, municipal spokesperson Mr Louis Bobodi confirmed it. “The development concerns the erection of the traffic circle and the park is not affected, but for now it’s for temporary use for the preparation for the construction of the traffic circle,” said Bobodi.
News that the new Makhado Crossing regional mall will be opening in November this year was welcomed by many. “Fantastic development for our town,” wrote local businessman Rampie Gilfillan in response to the article on the Zoutpansberger’s Facebook-page. “So glad we will have a Dischem in town,” said Tshililo-Lilo Sadiki Thovhakale. Then there were those with their own personal wishlist. “If only they’d have Ster-Kinekor in there, it would be great,” commented Sibiya George on the Facebook-page.
As of 10 April, approximately 70% of the superstructure of the new mall had been completed. The main anchor tenants in the new mall will include Pick n Pay, Checkers, Woolworths and Dischem. Other confirmed tenants include ABSA Bank, Standard Bank, Mr Price Group, Truworths Group, Pepkor Group en Clicks. The extension project will add an additional 17 000m² to the existing 14 000m² of the Makhado Crossing shopping centre.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.