A collection of Futuregrowth thought leadership pieces, media articles and interviews.

Motherwell Centre – investment in the community

22 Mar 2017


Motherwell Centre is one of 18 shopping centres currently owned by the Futuregrowth Community Property Fund, and, in many respects is typical of the investments made by the Fund.

It is located on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

The township of Motherwell was originally created in the 1980s to accommodate relocated black squatters and to cater for the influx of migrants to the city. Designed as a purely residential area for about 120 000 people, it now consists of 16 neighbourhoods with a population of close to 450 000.

Motherwell Centre is the dominant community facility in the area. It is a single storey centre with a detached office component that is easily accessible on foot or via public transport. The gross leasable area is 11 126m2 and vacancy rates are currently less than 3%. With Shoprite as the anchor tenant, 86% of the tenants are national tenants (large companies found nationwide, considered ideal because they are household names). A total of 360 people are employed by the retailers, 75% of whom are local residents. In addition, the centre has 29 staff members who attend to the management, security, maintenance and cleaning of the property.

Motherwell centre has a basketball court which has recently been resurfaced and fitted with new hoops. Basketball is popular amongst girls and boys in the area and we are currently liaising with schools in the area to allow their teams to practice on the courts after school. Further to this, the centre plans to host interschool basketball tournaments, which will assist in keeping the local youth off the streets – and increase foot traffic in the centre.

A wide range of social responsibility initiatives is implemented across the portfolio, primarily focused on education and community upliftment in the areas surrounding the shopping centres.

The Academic Prize Programme, for example, was rolled out by the Fund in 2015, and has been extended to 59 schools across South Africa to date. Through this programme, academic prizes are awarded annually to the top academic student in Grade 6 for primary schools and the top academic student in Grade 11 for high schools. The prize consists of a floating merit shield engraved with the winner’s name, a gift voucher from a shop in the Fund’s shopping centre in the area, and fully paid school fees for the next academic year. The programme has been implemented at four schools in Motherwell: Khulile Primary School, Elundini School, Cingani High School and James Jolobe Senior Secondary.

The Barefoot No More initiative was implemented in 2015, and to date over 2 890 pairs of school shoes, together with centre branded book bags and stationery sets, have been donated to schools countrywide. Barefoot No More has developed a unique school shoe for children in disadvantaged areas. The shoes are easy to maintain, they can be washed, do not require shoe polish, can stretch to accommodate a growing foot and do not cause blisters. This programme has been rolled out to 700 scholars at Ikhwezelihle Primary School in Motherwell.

In 2017, the Fund embarked on a new initiative, a bursary for a worthy learner from the Motherwell area to attend the Lawhill Maritime Centre in Simonstown. (See the story featuring Lutho Thomas in this newsletter.) This will give the recipient an opportunity to embark on a career in the global maritime industry. Given the proximity of his family home to the new Coega deepwater port, we feel that this initiative makes sense and will not only enhance his family situation but also motivate his peers to set goals beyond the confines of their current horizons.

Click here for more information about the Community Property Fund.

Source: Affordable Land & Housing Data Centre