The moneyed madams of KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast must be counting the months until they hit Ballito’s newest mall.

Actually, they don’t have to.

Developers of Ballito Junction Regional Mall say the shopping centre will open in March 2017, with over 130 stores.

The expanded mall is increasing its current size by eight times, to 80 000m2 and its anchor tenants will grow in number to six: Checkers, Woolworths, Edgars and Game, in addition to Pick n Pay and Dis-Chem.

Owned and developed by Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment, the mall sees the expansion of an existing 10 000m2 shopping centre.

Carl Jankowitz, director at Menlyn Maine said prior to its development the owners undertook comprehensive market research.

“We wanted to position Ballito Junction for local residents and our assessment supports this strategy.  Of course, with the area’s significant tourist appeal it will attract holidaymakers too. This will be a bonus for Ballito Junction retailers, but the mall’s success won’t depend on tourist trade.”

Ballito Junction is in the heart of Ballito, 40kms north of Durban on the KZN North Coast is strategically placed between Durban and Richards Bay.

Ballito is home to a quarter-of-a-million people with a highly diverse population, rich in culture.

Kwadukuza is the development engine of the ILembe district and sectors like sugar, paper, packaging, logistics and agriculture all support the growing business and residential expansion. It is near King Shaka International Airport and the Dube Trade Port, which have boosted employment, infrastructure, empowerment, development and housing in the area.

Developers said the Ballito primary market comprised over 65 000 people in 25 000 households in the immediate area. The secondary market includes more than 510 000 people from around 140 000 permanent households.

Pat Flanagan, co-chairman of Flanagan & Gerard said, “As a large, dominant shopping centre with a super-regional pull, Ballito Junction will have something for everyone…The mall’s retail, restaurant, entertainment and services will cater for a diverse mix of shoppers.”

Developers said Ballito Junction was in the middle of an upper market residential area, in a high growth region and was burgeoning because of a number of safe, gated estates. Indications were that this was set to continue.