Local Owners of Shops at Accra Mall protest exorbitant rent
The ACCA Mall Tenants Association has temporarily closed down shops to embark on one-day protest between the hours of 8am to 1pm against the onerous conditions in which they operate under the management of the mall.
The association claimed the local tenants pay a monthly rent fee of between $80.00 to $86.00, (GHc 2,400 to Ghc2,600) per square meter per shop.
In a press statement issued by the Counsel of the association, Dr Emmanuel Maurice Ankrah, he stated that the decision was taken to bring to the fore the onerous conditions under which the tenants operate at the mall.
The statement further indicated that the management of the mall has however ignored the complaints and concerns of the tenants and persisted in their activities, hence, worsening the operations and conditions of the tenants.
The statement again said “despite numerous protests and engagements with the management of the mall, nothing was done to fix the situation until recently they began to fix the ceiling”.
But management of the mall has denied any knowledge of the above complaints and refused to comment until a notice is served on them with the concerns of the association. Both management of the mall and the landlords promised to address the concerns of the tenants within two weeks after the said meeting but failed to do so.
Below is the statement issued by the Accra Mall Tenants Association
KuukuaA Legal Consulting
Dr Emmanuel Maurice Ankrah
TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF ACCRA MALL BY THE ACCRA MALL TENANTS ASSOCIATION
The Accra Mall Tenants Association have taken the decision to temporarily close their shops on the 24th of October, 2019.
This decision has been taken to bring to the fore the onerous conditions under which they operate at the mall.
The public would recall that about a year ago, part of the ceiling in the mall collapsed and this affected patronage at the mall as the public were rightly concerned about their safety.
Before that section of the ceiling could be fixed, another section of the ceiling at the Game entrance also caved in after a heavy rainfall.
Both incidents hugely affected patronage at the Mall which in turn led to a downward spiral of revenue of the Tenants.
Despite numerous protests and engagements with the management of the mall, nothing was done to fix the ceiling until about a month ago when they began to fix the ceiling.
In order to fix the ceiling, the management of the mall have erected scaffolding in the walkways of the whole mall despite protestations from the tenants that this would rather scare customers away.
The tenants proposed that the scaffolds be erected at the sections where work was being done and then moved to other sections of the ceiling rather than erecting the scaffolds all over the walkway of the mall.
The management of the mall however ignored the tenants concerns and persisted with erecting the scaffolds with the result being that patronage to the mall has worsened leaving the tenants in a worse position.
In addition to the above, the tenants also raised concerns about the exorbitant rent and the lack of promotional activities by management of the mall to improve revenue which slumped due to their negligence in maintaining the mall leading to the collapse of the ceiling.
In order to address these concerns representatives of tenants met with representatives of the Accra Mall landlords on or about the 26th of September, 2019 to address issues of common interest. Among issues discussed at the said meeting included:
- The low patronage at the mall due to the manner in which the ceiling repair works at the mall is being done
- The insufficient number and deplorable condition of the washrooms at the mall
- Insufficient marketing activities to promote the mall and impact sales
- A request for a reduction in rent during the period of the renovation of the ceiling.
- A general reduction in rent across board
The management of the mall and the landlords promised to address the concerns of the tenants two weeks after the said meeting but failed to do so.
It is poignant to note that as a result of the concerns raised by the tenants including the huge rent, which have ultimately led to a slump in patronage and revenue, a huge number of shops including multinationals from South Africa have closed shop and left the mall.
The Tenants have therefore decided to take the bitter decision to close their shops on Thursday the 24th of October, 2019 between the hours of 9 am and 1pm to protect their huge investments and prevent the Accra Mall from suffering the same fate that the Westhills mall is suffering.
Dr Emmanuel Maurice Ankrah.
(KuukuaA Legal Consulting)
Source: Eric Nii Sackey|| [email protected]