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New Egodini project lease agreement raises stink

by Staff reporter
10 May 2023 at 05:59hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) and South African property developer, Terracotta Trading (Pvt) Limited, have registered a notarial lease for the long-awaited US$60 million Egodini Mall project.

Revelations of the notarial lease agreement — which is defined as long-term agreements on immovable property — have, however, sent tongues wagging as stakeholders demand clarity on the terms of the agreement on a project which has taken more than a decade to complete.

On October 11, 2012, BCC contracted Terracotta to redesign Basch Street terminus, popularly known as Egodini, and turn it into a multi-purpose mall under a build, operate and transfer arrangement.

It is now almost 11 years since the firm was awarded the tender, but the mall remains a pipe dream amid growing calls from various stakeholders for the cancellation of the tender.

Latest council minutes, however, state that the city authorities held a meeting on February 27 this year, where it was resolved that a notarial lease be signed.

It is not clear how the council will benefit from the lease, with Terracotta facing accusations of failing to deliver.

"Survey and consolidation of the stands concerned was done and the notarial lease was registered against the property. Council had since issued an instruction to Coughlan and Welsh to register the notarial lease and the requisite fees were paid," the council minutes read.

"Terracotta Trading (Pvt) Ltd has also paid for the registration of the notarial lease. Currently Coghlan and Welsh (law firm) is working on the registration of the notarial lease. Once the lease has been registered, Terracotta will be put to terms of the contract."

During debate, councillor Frank Javangwe suggested that a meeting be convened with the contractor following concerns that the Egodini project had taken too long to complete.

Vendors and commuter transport operators, the main beneficiaries of the project, are yet to be allowed to operate from Egodini, despite council having set February 2023 as the deadline for informal traders and commuter transport operators to start using the facility.

Source - Southern Eye
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