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Councillors force premature Egodini Terminus opening

by Staff Reporter
03 Feb 2023 at 06:50hrs | Views
BULAWAYO councillors have resolved to open Basch Street Bus Terminus, popularly known as Egodini, for transport operators and vendors before construction has been completed as the project has dragged for years.

During a full council meeting on Wednesday, the city fathers also rejected a recommendation by vendors' associations to redo vending bays on grounds that they were small saying that would further delay the project.

The contract to redevelop Egodini project was awarded to a South African company, Terracotta, which has missed many deadlines to open the place for transporters and vendors.

Terracotta Trading Private Limited (TTPL) won the tender in 2015, but the project suffered several false starts. The company also missed numerous deadlines including the December 1, 2022 deadline to open up a taxi rank and operating space for informal traders, under phase one of the project.

The proposed plans to redevelop Egodini into a multi-million mall and regional transport hub resulted in the displacement of vendors and transporters who were operating at the bus terminus.

The prolonged closure of Egodini has contributed to chaos in the city centre as vendors and some transporters started operating on the streets.

According to the latest council minutes, the installation of reinforcing steel, concrete bases, starter bars and column stubs is 100 percent complete. The installation of the final road surface is expected to be completed and transporters and traders are expected to start operating from Egodini in two weeks.

"Brickwork and structural steelwork for 660 informal trader stalls was 100 percent complete. Following a project progress site visit undertaken on November 9, 2022 by the Provincial Minister's Office, the Joint Operations Command (JOC), BCC management and various informal traders' associations, the developer received a request from BCC to consider a few requests arising from the site visit," read the minutes.

"To limit the impact of these delays, the developer proposed that the informal trader stalls were leased out in tranches as the additional works were completed. Leasing of the first tranche of informal traders' stalls would be opened up in January 2023, with beneficial occupation occurring in mid to late February 2023 and trading commencing on 1 March 2023."

The director of town planning Mr Wisdom Siziba explained to councillors that vending bay allocation at Egodini will be done by council and first preference will be given to vendors who  traded there before the handover of site to the developer.

Councillors said Egodini must be opened as a matter of urgency before the whole project flops.

Alderman Siboniso Khumalo said the time had come for Bulawayo residents to benefit from the long-awaited project before it becomes a failure.

"We have waited for years and I think our residents will start doubting our leadership if we continue tolerating delay tactics by the contractor.

Source - The Chronicle