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BCC plans Renkini revamp

by Staff reporter
05 May 2023 at 06:15hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is considering the redevelopment of Renkini Long Distance Bus Terminus and has since engaged a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study to assess the viability of the project.

The project comes on the back of the much-hyped US$60 million Egodini Mall Project which has been under construction for almost eight years, with the contractor Terracotta Trading missing all set deadlines.

Renkini has a thriving ecosystem that needs proper infrastructure for traders to operate from. The terminus, which mainly caters for buses traveling to rural areas, has over the years been deteriorating.

Some players in the private sector, notably banks, have in the past offered to partner the local authority to revamp the bus terminus.

According to the latest council monthly report on Town Lands and Planning Committee, if the feasibility study indicates that the project is viable, council will call for an expression of interest for developers to carry out the actual redevelopment.

The Town Planning Department had sought to proceed to advertise for the partnership for the redevelopment of Renkini, but this had to be changed on the advice of the Procurement Management Unit which highlighted the need for a feasibility study to be done before a partnership for development agreed upon.

"The director of Town Planning reported that an advert calling for expressions of interest for the consultancy services for a feasibility study had been prepared and forwarded to the procurement unit for advertising.

"The  feasibility study would then  inform council whether the redevelopment of Renkini would be a viable project or not. If deemed to be viable then   council would call for expression of interest for developers to carry out the actual redevelopment," reads part of the report.

Councillors believe that the implementation of the redevelopment programme should not be delayed.
Already, the municipality's town land committee has visited Gweru for a "look and learn" at the Kudzanai Bus Terminus to get an appreciation of the rehabilitation project done at a cost of US$1,6 million.

Bulawayo councillors acknowledged that the bus terminus was redeveloped at a fast pace. Gweru council partnered Government and a private sector organisation, Bentach Resources, to upgrade the terminus in Midlands Province's capital city.

In March, the National Building Society (NBS) expressed keen interest in partnering BCC for the redevelopment of the Renkini Long-distance Bus Terminus.

NBS wants to give the sprawling dilapidated infrastructure a modern look and a conducive facelift for any form of trade.

The proposals dovetails with long term redevelopment plans set by the city council focused on urban renewal.

Added to that, council has indicated that Renkini, being adjacent to Makokoba, will be incorporated into the Makokoba redevelopment project.

It also plans to advertise for the procurement of consultants for the preparation of the local subject plan (LSP) for Makokoba suburb last year.

The LSP is to guide the redevelopment project to ensure that it is done in a co-ordinated and well-planned manner. Once the LSP has been done and completed, modalities will then be put in place for the actual redevelopment process to take place, the council has previously said.

The planned Renkini redevelopment project comes at a time when council and the National Railways of Zimbabwe are working on an elaborate immediate impact project of converting a portion of the railway station into a public transport interchange terminal for pre-booking luxury coaches and informal traders space, a project that seeks to decongest the central business district and also boost trade.

The development comes amid indications that the national railways has crafted a redevelopment strategy of turning the Railway Station into an upmarket transport hub and shopping mall.

The two entities have held several meetings on the issue and the local authority has in principle adopted the proposal.

Council is eager to decongest the city centre due to an influx of illegal informal traders and transport operators.

Under the proposal, the terminal hub will cater for buses traveling to and from across the borders, those using the intercity routes such as the Bulawayo-Harare, Bulawayo-Masvingo, Bulawayo-Beitbridge and Bulawayo-Victoria Falls, Bulawayo-Botswana/Namibia/Zambia/ Mozambique routes.

Smaller portions would be provided for the metered taxis that pick up and drop off passengers.

Based on the report, a joint site inspection between the council and NRZ officials on February 10 revealed that there were several unused buildings and open spaces within the station area which could easily be turned into informal trading spaces.

The total area that could be redesignated at present is approximately 19,2 hectares.

Source - The Chronicle
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