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David Coltart engages SA property firm

by Staff reporter
01 Dec 2023 at 04:58hrs | Views
BULAWAYO mayor David Coltart is in discussions with South Africa-based company McCormick Property Development to speed up the construction of the multi-million-dollar Egodini Mall.

The discussions come as another South African property developer, Terracotta Trading, tasked with completing the mall, missed the February 7, 2023, deadline to finish the first phase of the development.

Resultantly, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) resolved to take Terracotta Trading to court as construction of the mall has now reached eight years. Over 500 vending bays are being constructed at Egodini Mall which is meant to house informal traders and commuter omnibuses.

Speaking to NewsDay Business, Coltart said the Egodini mall project was underway once more following the engagement he had with the South Africa-based company.

"The engagement was in the context of understanding why the project had not advanced, why it broke down and to seek a way of unblocking the process. Now that has happened, now the key takeaway is that we understood the blockages and agreed on a process going forward," he said.

However, Coltart said the engagement with McCormick Property Development did not mean that the BCC had nullified its initial partnership with Terracotta (Private) Limited.

"Terracotta is in partnership with the company McCormick Property Development and so is still part of the contract. In fact, the contract is between Terracotta and the city of Bulawayo, although that contract is subject to legal processes, at present it remains what governs this on-going development," he added.

Recently, Coltart summoned Terracotta with as view of reviewing its contract amid concerns over the delay in the completion of the project.

The project started in 2012 but the contractor is still working on the civil works while the bus terminus and vendor's market is yet to be completed.

Meanwhile, Coltart indicated that the future of the project would be dependent on the contractors complying with the deadlines and taking it through to completion.

"I am hopeful now that the project will move quickly but much depends on what we will see happening on the site in the next six weeks or so," he added.

Terracotta (Private) Limited estimated the value of the project at US$25 million as opposed to the US$60 million BCC claimed the company submitted in its bid.

The push to serve the informal market comes as about 70% of the economy is informalised with the sector contributing US$8,6 billion per annum to the gross domestic product.

The SMEs sector earned an estimated whopping US$14,2 billion in annual revenue last year, according to a survey conducted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Source - newsday