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Contractor re-designs Egodini Mall vending bays

by Staff reporter
05 Dec 2023 at 05:14hrs | Views
TERRACOTTA Private Limited, a South African company, which won the US$60 million tender to rebuild Bulawayo's Basch Street Bus Terminus has since engaged another company from the neighbouring country to redesign the vending bays at the Egodini Mall project.

According to Bulawayo City Council (BCC), the first phase comprising vending bays and taxi rank, is set to open either this month or early January.

The company has thrice missed the opening deadline, which was initially set for December 1 last year before being pushed to February this year. It was again further postponed to August.

Posting on his X (formerly Twitter) page, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor David Coltart announced that Terracotta has since gone into a partnership with McCormick Property Development, a South African company with years of experience in mall construction.

"After a series of meetings with McCormick Property Development (a South African company), which included a request made to them to redesign the Egodini vendors' bays, we are pleased to report that substantial progress has been made and the project is now underway again," he posted.

"The redesign was to ensure that the Egodini vending' market will be fully roofed so as to provide protection to vendors, their customers and wares."

Clr Coltart said Egodini is a critical component and panacea to decongesting the city centre.

"I am grateful for the new energy, which has been injected by McCormick and we are now hopeful that this long outstanding project will now be completed," he said.

When a Chronicle news crew visited the site last week, workers were busy roofing the re-designed vending bays.

Each of the bays now has a lockable cage while construction of ablution facilities is now at roof level.

The taxi terminal has seven out of the nine bays now fully roofed while the entire ground has been tarred.

In an interview, Clr Coltart said he was confident that the latest timelines given by the contractors will be met.

"The contractors are working on Phase One, which is the construction of the first batch of some 400 vendor stands and taxi terminals. They are now going flat out and hoping to finish before industries break for the Christmas holiday," he said.

Clr Coltart said the contractors had given an undertaking to meet the deadlines for the completion of phases one, two and three.

He said while Terracotta is the one that won the tender, it decided to engage a partner, McCormick Property Development, which is now directly involved in the development works.

Residents have welcomed the progress on the project with the Bulawayo United Residents Association (Bura) chairperson Mr Winos Dube saying the opening of the mall was long overdue.

"We have been given a number of deadlines which have never been met. We just pray and hope that this time around, the project will come to fruition," he said.

Mr Dube said Egodini will ease the congestion in the city centre which is contributing to littering.

Bulawayo Upcoming Traders Association (Buta) chairman, Mr Vincent Donga urged the local authority to prioritise those vendors who were operating from Egodini before its closure in 2016.

"We are also pushing for locals to be prioritised in the allocation of bays but those locals must be formally registered with the council and ourselves," he said.

BCC in April 2016 ordered vendors and public transporters to relocate from Egodini to pave way for the construction of the mall.

The Egodini Mall project tender was awarded on October 11, 2012, with the winning company Terracotta Trading (Pvt) Limited estimating the project to cost US$60 million.

Earlier this year, an economist said the delays in completing the mall project had dented Bulawayo's investment image as some investors who wanted to operate at the mall are no longer interested.

Source - The Chronicle