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Egodini terminus completion postponed to around mid-January next year

by Staff reporter
16 Dec 2023 at 19:39hrs | Views
THE people of Bulawayo have been waiting since 2016 for the completion of the Egodini terminus, a project that promises to transform the city's transport and vending sectors.

However, their hopes have been dashed again and again, as the contractor, Terracotta Trading (Pvt) Limited, has failed to meet the opening deadlines four times.

The latest setback came yesterday, when the opening of the first phase of the project, which includes the taxi terminal, the ablution facilities, and the vendors' stalls, was postponed to around mid-January next year. The second phase will see the opening of the mall.

The contractor claimed that the first phase was 98 percent complete, with only minor issues such as electricity on the sheds remaining. However, this did not convince the public, who have grown weary of the endless excuses and delays.

Due to various challenges, such as funding, design, and weather, the contractor has been forced to push the date of the opening many times. Each time, the contractor assured the public that the project was on track and that good progress was being made. However, each time, the public was left disappointed and frustrated.

The project has also been shrouded in secrecy and controversy. Yesterday the media was barred from touring the site, apparently without the knowledge of the mayor, Councillor David Coltart. The mayor, who was part of the tour, said he was sorry to hear that the media was not invited and that he thought the communications department would have contacted them.

"I am sorry to hear that, it was not my wish. I thought our communications department would have contacted you. The tour happened this morning," said Councillor Coltart.

The mayor also said that he was generally impressed with the work done to date and that he hoped the opening would be January.

"Good progress is now being made. I think the opening will be in mid-January but that is not a confirmed date," said Councillor Coltart.

The contractor, who engaged a South African company, McCormick Property Development, to speed up the progress and redesign the vendors' bays and the taxi terminal, blamed the rains for the latest delay.

"We have completed the first phase of the project. The phase involved the construction of the taxi rank, the vending bays as well as the ablution facilities. The rank and the ablution facilities are now 100 percent complete while the vending bays are now 98 percent complete.

"We are now putting final touches to the facilities which were however disturbed by the rains we received yesterday," said Otis Tshabalala, one of Terracotta's directors.

Once completed, the first phase of the project will accommodate 1 100 informal traders and 110 taxis, with a capacity of over 30 000 public transport users daily, along with social amenities. The objective of the first phase is to address the chaos in the city centre caused by the limited space for transport and vending.

The applicants for the stalls and bays are required to provide a police-certified national ID copy, a valid informal trader's license, and proof of residential address. They will also have to pay US$100 monthly rentals, which may be too high for some vendors.

The second phase of the project, which will involve the construction of the shopping centre, will commence after the completion of the first phase.

However, the public may not hold their breath for the completion of the project, as they have been let down too many times by the contractor. The Egodini terminus and mall has become a symbol of broken promises and unfulfilled dreams for the people of Bulawayo.

Source - The Chronicle