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Egodini project stalls

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2018 at 05:59hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council has extended by two weeks the relocation of transport operators and informal traders operating at the Basch Street Terminus citing inadequate preparation of alternative sites due to incessant rains.

The city council had recently indicated that all transport operators and informal traders operating at the Basch Street Terminus would have vacated the site by the beginning of this month to pave way for the construction of the $60 000 project. Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube yesterday said the city council needed more time to prepare temporary bays for informal traders.

"We're having a few challenges with regards to the relocation of informal traders. We've not yet finished preparing the temporary bays for the informal traders for them to move to the new sites. We need at most two weeks to finish," he said.

"This has been due to the rains that have been disturbing our team on the ground. They have drawn some lines to demarcate the vending bays, but the lines were being washed away by the rains."

Mr Dube said it was important for the kombis to be moved at once with the vendors as they shared the same customers. "We've since communicated our challenge to the Tearracotta team and they understand. We're working together to make sure that this important project commences and becomes a reality.

"We'll also continue to engage our stakeholders because some transport operators are saying they were not given ample time to prepare for the relocation to pave way for the commencement of the project," said Mr Dube.

Tearracotta director Mr Thulani Moyo said it was apparent that informal traders needed a little more time to relocate from the site to enable BCC to provide vacant possession of the site to the developer.

"In this regard, we're aware that informal traders' organisations collectively wrote a letter to the city council last week asking for an extension of time to allow for all their members to relocate from the site to the new designated areas.

"A formal meeting was urgently held on Monday between the leaders of the informal traders' organisations and the city council to discuss their request," said Mr Moyo.

He added that a tentative agreement was reached by both parties that an additional week or two would be given to those informal traders who are not in a position to relocate by the deadline of today.

"As the developer, we agreed with the city council's decision that an additional two weeks could be afforded to assist informal traders with their logistical arrangements.

"After all, it will not be feasible to transform the site into a construction site while it is still occupied by non-construction personnel," said Mr Moyo.

He said councillors were also advised on the latest developments in relation to the proposed extension of the project start date. Tearracotta, Mr Moyo added, will continue to do its work and is happy with the significant progress made so far.

"Due to the nature and size of the project, together with the different number of affected stakeholders, we anticipate a number of hurdles that we will have to jointly overcome to ensure that all concerned stakeholder concerns are addressed.

"In this regard, we will together with the city council continuously engage different stakeholders at various points of the projects life cycle to ensure that no one is left behind," said Mr Moyo.

According to a relocation plan issued by the city council, Bellevue and Pumula commuter omnibuses will be moved to Lobengula Street between 11th and 13th Avenue while all commuter omnibuses using the Luveve Road will now be ranking at Lobengula Street and 3rd Avenue. The commuter omnibuses using the Richmond route will be relocated to City Hall while those using routes to the northern areas of the city will operate from Lobengula Street and 2nd Avenue.

Other selected transport operators and informal traders will be moved to Lobengula Street and 6th Avenue. The city council said engagement of stakeholders will continue. In an earlier statement council advised its stakeholders, commuter omnibus operators and informal traders to prepare for the relocation process.

"All stakeholders and residents are advised that commuter omnibuses, informal traders and organisations operating from the Basch Street Terminus will be relocated in preparation for the construction of Egodini Mall.

"All stakeholders are requested to start making necessary preparations to move from the site and will be guided by the city council's members of staff during the process to prepared sites," it said.

Source - chronicle