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Shopping centres abuzz with Xmas customers

IT SEEMS South Africans have left their Christmas shopping until the last minute - again.

Yesterday Sowetan found shopping centres around Johannesburg abuzz with customers.

Khanyi Mnyaleni, marketing manager at Maponya Mall, said shoppers had been coming in since the beginning of the festive season, but their numbers had increased since the beginning of this week.

Shopper Aaron Mtimkulu from Moroka said the festive's spending would make a dent his bank balance.

"This is my last shopping trip. I'm not doing this again any time soon," the Soweto father said yesterday.

Southgate Mall has been hosting the Christmas Lights on Musical Spectacular, which is a 60-piece choir that sings carols around a Christmas tree.

The Rosebank Mall extended its trading hours from November 24 to December 24 to allow customers more time to do shopping.

Shoppers around Durban were also in a festive mood yesterday as they put in some last-minute Christmas shopping.

Malls were packed to capacity, with the biggest of the bunch, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, recording up to 150000 shoppers a day.

Centre manager Adrian Raw said: "In past years December 23 proved to be the busiest day of the year. But we have already experienced a few days with foot counts of more than 150000 visitors."

Musgrave Centre, situated closer to the Durban city centre, reported a whopping 636000 shoppers since the first day of December. Highest daily record was 44300, said the centre's Nisha Kemraj. KwaMashu's Bridge City reported more than 800000 shoppers since December 1.

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