Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga visited Menlyn Park Shopping Centre to discuss shared interests and issues relevant to Tshwane. Olive Ndebele, the general manager at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, was on hand to show the Mayor the refurbishment that was completed at the end of last year, which included the features that gained the centre a 4-star Green Star Retail Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa.
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is a major hub for commuters who either work or shop in the mall, and centre management has worked closely with the government to ensure that public-transport facilities are in place here. This includes the Bus Rapid Transport system. Msimanga, who was elected mayor of Tshwane in August 2016, works closely with the community to address their needs around efficient public transport.
Ndebele noted that the meeting with the Mayor was a great opportunity to further cement relations between the local government and the shopping centre. “We’re always looking for ways to improve the Menlyn area for our shoppers and employees, and we’re in discussions to address parking for taxis,” she says. ”We also want to form a Central Improvement District.”
Tshwane’s new municipal offices, in the heart of the city, is home to some of the best green features found in a government building. The Mayor, who was one of the first to move into this awarding-winning building completed in June, has said that working towards an environmentally green city is close to his heart.
For its part, Menlyn Park worked incredibility hard to incorporate as many environmentally sustainable initiatives as possible during the redevelopment of the mall in 2016. Focus areas included indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, material and land-use ecology and emissions. “We were very fortunate to host mayoral delegates from the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum last month, and they were impressed to see the strides that retail in South Africa has made towards eco-friendliness,” says Ndebele.
The Mayor’s visit will highlight cooperation during upcoming events in Tshwane following the success of this year’s African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum and the Green Home Fair, both hosted by Tshwane. Both events took place during Sustainability Week, and were crucial to further educating Africa in implementing sustainable urban development.
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is the largest mall in Africa, with over 400 stores, including Central Park; a park in the sky, Fives Futbol and the largest gaming arcade in the country. The redevelopment, which took nearly two years to complete, provided 12 000 jobs during the construction. The expansion included 8 250 parking bays and 16 entrances and 12 exits. The centre has become an institution in Tshwane, and regularly welcomes shoppers from all over Africa.