Prince Sunduzani, Business Reporter
DEMOLITION of old infrastructure is underway at Egodini terminus in Bulawayo as work on the $60 million mall construction project takes shape.
South African engineering firm, Terracotta Private Limited, is implementing the mega project after council handed over the site to it last month.
Commuter omnibus operators and informal traders have been relocated to designated sites in selected parts of the CBD to pave way for the project.
Terracotta won the tender for the project but has had a number of false starts, which has seen the project failing to commence for close to five years after it was approved. Yesterday, Business Chronicle visited the site and saw construction workers busy at work, demolishing old structures and removing tarmac and other unwanted material.
Workers could not be interviewed as the place has been cordoned off. A senior council official who declined to be named for professional reasons said: “The work that you saw is part of site preparation for the actual construction to commence. The contractor is demolishing some of the buildings, which belonged to BCC. Since the handover of the project, the city council is no longer involved as that is now a private construction site.”
The Egodini Mall Project incorporates a regional transport hub and state-of-the-art shopping complex that is set to transform the face of the city and create more than 1 500 jobs for Bulawayo residents and subcontract local companies for various services. The upgrade project will see the terminus being a regional transport hub that will serve Bulawayo as well as Southern Africa with capacity to handle at least three million travellers each month. Construction is expected to be done in three phases and the first phase of the project will take 15 months to complete.
The phased development approach will ensure informal traders and public transport operators will be relocated back onto site on completion of Phase 1, which will enable them to start trading in the shortest time possible while allowing Phase 2 of the development to occur simultaneously.
Meanwhile, social media has been awash with false employment messages, which officials have dismissed. Bulawayo City Council last month said an official contact centre will be established near the Basch Street Terminus in to cater for job seekers who wish to work on the construction of Egodini Mall.
This proposed site is meant to protect job seekers from bogus employment agencies. — @PrinceNkosy102.