Bianca Mlilo Business Reporter
ABOUT 2,000 vendors and commuter omnibus operators in Bulawayo would be displaced as council prepares to demolish Basch Street Terminus, popularly known as Egodini, next month.
The local authority has already ordered the operators to vacate the city’s busiest terminus by April 30 to pave way for the construction of a multi-million dollar Egodini Shopping Mall.
The $60 million project, set to create more than 1,000 jobs for city residents, is scheduled to commence at the beginning of May.
City council records show that Egodini is home to 1,047 vendors and an estimated 900 transport operators.
Last week the city’s director of engineering services, Engineer Simela Dube, said all site related issues will be concluded and activity will begin on April 30, 2016.
“We’re looking at the relocation of our commuter omnibuses to different sites where they’ll work from during the relocation process and the vendors that are within those areas to operate from different areas,” he said.
“Demolitions are to commence as of the 30th of April 2016. Relocation of commuter omnibuses and vendors should also be done by 30th of April 2016.”
Handover of the site and the ground breaking ceremony are set for the beginning of May 2016, while implementation of the first phase of development (lower ground and public transport facilities) is expected to be completed in six months time.
Construction of the mall is projected to take 30 months under Terracotta Trading Private Limited, a South African Civil Engineering firm.
Council has indicated that during construction, commuter omnibuses would be stationed outside the Central Business District and would only come into the city centre to ferry passengers.
Kombis plying the city centre to Waterford, Burnside, Matopos and Newton West routes will use the Samuel Parirenyatwa terminus along Second Avenue, while their drop-off point will be the City Hall bays.
Those plying the route from the city centre to the National University of Science and Technology, Sunninghill, United Bulawayo Hospitals, Mahatshula, Parklands and Killarney will use the terminus at corner 6th Ave and Robert Mugabe Way, TM Hyper and the Samuel Parirenyatwa terminus with their drop-off point at the City Hall bays.
Transporters plying city centre to Woodville, Sauerstown, Queenspark East and West, Trenance, Harrisvale, Romney Park, Richmond and Barbourfields will use the terminus along Lobengula Street and 3rd Avenue.
Those plying the city centre to Cowdray Park, Luveve, Emakhandeni, Entumbane, Mpopoma and Njube routes will use the Khami Road terminus.
The Birkenhead terminus will be used by kombis plying the city centre to New Magwegwe, Magwegwe West, Magwegwe North and Pumula routes.
Kombis plying the city centre to Nkulumane 11 and 12, Nkulumane 10, Nkulumane 5, Nketa and Emganwini routes will use the Belmont terminus.
Vendors will also be relocated to bays that have already been constructed.
Eng Dube said approval of plans would happen concurrently with the demolitions and handover of the site to Terracotta Trading Private Limited.
The project includes 250 modern informal trader stalls in the retail basement section and 500 informal trader stalls on the roof of the complex to create a flea market for retail traders.
The complex will also include a public transport and off-loading facility capable of handling 20 regional and cross border buses as well as 75 minibus taxis at the same time.
The $60 million project would be undertaken in three phases.