Bianca Mlilo Business Reporter
THE multi-million dollar Egodini Mall in Bulawayo is projected to attract more than three million travellers per month once completed, the Deputy Mayor, Gift Banda, has said. The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has contracted Terracotta Trading Private Limited to build the $60 million complex, incorporating local and regional public transport, retail sections, shopping centre and visitor parking bays.
The mall, spanning 5,6 hectares and bounded by Lobengula Street, Basch Street and 8th Avenue, will also be home to small to medium enterprises who will be allocated vending bays.
Banda said the location of the mall in Bulawayo was strategic as the city had close links to Botswana, South Africa and Zambia through the country’s borders.
“Egodini, as it’s popularly known, has a phenomenal potential for development. With the development of right infrastructure, Egodini could handle an upward of three million travellers every month,” he said.
“With this figure, a huge amount of business can be generated in and around Egodini.”
Choppies Zimbabwe director Siqokoqela Mphoko commended the developers for bringing a mall to Bulawayo saying this project would generate a lot of money for the city from the traffic frequenting the mall.
“We as Choppies are also looking to get space at the mall because there’ll be a lot of traffic and that would mean increased business for us,” he said.
Mphoko, however, expressed skepticism over the figures citing the low population of Bulawayo, which hovers around 653,000, according to Zimstat 2012 census.
The local authority has dismissed the Zimstat report insisting the city’s population was slightly more than one million.
The construction of the mall is expected to commence in two months’ time and it is anticipated that construction will take 30 months.