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8-year wait over as Egodini finally reopens

by Staff reporter
04 Feb 2024 at 17:34hrs | Views
EGODINI Bus Terminus will tomorrow reopen ending an eight-year closure for its rehabilitation after the South Africa-based contractor, Terracotta Trading Private Limited, completed the first phase of works.

The project has over the years stalled in its completion with a number of challenges being cited, chief among them being the Covid-19 induced lockdown and the failure by the local authority to consolidate the whole site as they did not own some of the facilities included in the project.

The once vibrant transport hub, also known as Basch street terminus, which had fallen into disrepair, is now set to retake its place as a vital link in the city's transportation network. It will also decongest the city centre as commuter omnibuses were now using various illegal pick-up points in the Central Business District. The Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube, yesterday confirmed that the project will reopen for commuter omnibuses tomorrow, with informal traders expected to start trading during the week.

"The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public that the redevelopment of Phase 1A (Taxi Rank and Informal Trading Stalls) of the Egodini Mall Project is complete. The transporting of commuters from Egodini shall begin on Monday, 5 February 2024. There shall be two pedestrian access points to Egodini; along Lobengula Street between 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue and along 8th Avenue between Lobengula and Basch Street," reads the statement.

Routes that will be catered for from Egodini will be Cowdray Park, Luveve, Entumbane, Emakhandeni, Gwabalanda, Mpopoma, Magwegwe, Magwegwe North, Magwegwe West, Mpilo, United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Barbourfields, Mzilikazi, Old Pumula, Pumula North, Nkulumane 5, 10, 11 and 12, Lovendale, Pumula South, Emthunzini, Emganwini, Rangemore, Mbundane and Nketa 9.

Commenting on the reopening, one of the Terracotta directors, Mr Thulani Moyo, revealed that  the response from informal traders interested in operating at the terminus was tremendous.

"What we have been doing since last year is that we requested the informal traders to  first come and register at our contact centre,  we then called them to come and apply for space.

"However, as per our agreement we gave first preference to those that were operating at Egodini before its closure, now that process has been completed, some took up the offer, some did not. Now, we are in the process of allocating the first 400 bays which will be operating in the first row, we expect them to start operating in the same week the commuter omnibuses start operating, although I cannot put a specific day, but the process is progressing well, visit our contact centre now and you will see people there making their payments," said Mr Moyo.

He said 1 200 informal traders will be housed at the terminus.

"Traders who will not be included in this first batch of 400 must not despair because the allocation is being done in phases, after this batch we will move to the second row where 400 bays will be allocated and finally the final phase will see another 400 being allocated. However, I must emphasise that we are happy with the completion of this first phase of the project, we are now moving on to the other phases of the project so that we deliver a world class innovation in Bulawayo, at the same time helping create employment and also contributing to the city's Gross Domestic Product," said Mr Moyo.

Local residents, who have long yearned for the return of a fully operational transport hub, expressed relief  at the prospect of the convenience and efficiency that Egodini once provided.

"It's been a long time coming, but we are thrilled to see Egodini finally open its doors to the public again," said Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson, Mr Winos Dube.

Upon completion, the project is expected to house inter-city and cross-border buses, food outlets and a shopping mall, among others. The shopping mall is on Phase Two of the project.

Source - The Sunday News
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