Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
THE $60 million upgrading of Basch Street Bus Terminus, popularly known as Egodini, is set to start next week, Terracotta, the South African civil engineering firm that won the tender to implement the project, has said.
An official from Terracotta, Ottis Tshabalala, told The Chronicle that the construction of the regional transport hub and shopping complex would start soon after a ceremony to handover the site to them from the Bulawayo City Council on February 3.
“We have set February 3 as the tentative date for the handover ceremony which will be held in Bulawayo. However, Bulawayo City Council has not confirmed if the date is suitable but we can safely say construction will commence early next month when we take over the facility,” said Tshabalala.
The Egodini project entails the construction of a shopping mall with modern facilities that include informal trader stalls, a transport hub, loading and offloading bays.
The mall is expected to create hundreds of jobs for locals.
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 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.
Tshabalala has previously said the company, which is partly owned by Zimbabweans, would take between 18 and 24 months to construct the massive structure.
Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Gift Banda confirmed that the project would take-off next month as it was now at implementation stage.
He could not immediately give an exact date.
“The agreement has been signed and now it’s off our jurisdiction but what I know is that they are organising an official handover and takeover ceremony. It’s now at implementation stage,” said Banda.
He said vendors operating at Egodini would be moved to other sites in the city before referring further questions to Terracotta.
This is the first time that the council and the contracted company have confirmed dates when work on the long awaited project is expected to start.
The South African civil engineering firm won the tender ahead of two local companies.
The company was also awarded a 99-year lease to the terminus.
Past projects that Terracotta has worked on include Edendale Shopping Mall in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, Chris Hani Crossing Taxi facility in Gauteng and the Tsakane Mall Taxi rank again in Gauteng.