Alpha Investment Group (Alpha), a 100% black-owned investment holding company, is set to invest approximately ZAR400million to bring KidZania to South Africa.
This initial investment will see the launch of a flagship children’s educational city facility, KidZania Johannesburg, empowering children with informative career choices and creating over 500 jobs during development and ongoing operations.
KidZania Johannesburg, the first to launch in sub-Saharan Africa, will officially open in December 2018 and be located in Fourways Mall, South Africa.
It will be an approximately 8000m2replica of an urban commercial eco-system complete with streets, buildings, a transport system and a fully-functioning economy.
“We [Alpha] believe that it is our role to bring this educational, career-focused concept to life. We are building a platform that will create hundreds of direct and in-direct jobs, and are establishing a safe and fun environment where children can realise their dream career of being a pilot or cabin crew scientist, radio presenter, fireman, surgeon, investment banker, dentist and more,” says David Ngobeni, Alpha Investment Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Ngobeni also said the decision to invest in KidZania and bring the global concept to South Africa was easy as it supports Government’s call for private sector companies to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in our youth, business development and job creation in South Africa.
“The South African economy is in urgent need of professionals across all sectors and the long-term work of developing these skills needs to start at an early age, particularly in children up to the age of 18 years,” says Herman Mashaba, City of Johannesburg Mayor.
Xavier López, KidZania Founder, notes that the launch of KidZania Johannesburg expands the franchise’s footprint to 20 countries globally. There are currently 24 operating facilities with 12 under construction.
“Our industry partners enable us to bring in the necessary realism and authenticity, transforming the city and its activities into an unforgettable experience,” says Ngobeni.
“We work closely with our partners to ensure that we deliver activities that echo their brand values and, in turn, empower, inspire and educate children.”
“KidZania is a vital ingredient in the multi-billion rand re-development of Fourways Mall, as it supports our goal of creating South Africa’s premier experiential shoppertainment destination,” says Andrew Costa, Accelerate Property Fund Chief Operations Officer.
“The children’s city will attract visitors from far beyond our regular customer audience, adding even more to the Mall’s super-regional appeal.”
KidZania is one of the fastest growing global learning and entertainment brands in the world.