Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has given kombi operators an ultimatum to register under any of the three associations in the city before the closure of Basch Street Bus Terminus to pave way for the construction of a mall.
The terminus, also called Egodini is set to be closed in about two months to pave way for the construction of the $60 million Egodini Mall by South African company Terracotta Trading Private Limited.
The construction of Egodini Mall will see kombis being relocated from Egodini to council’s selected ranking places outside the city centre.
Bulawayo public relations officer, Bongiwe Ngwenya, said they had issued an ultimatum for kombis to register before the relocation but claimed that move was not necessitated by the Egodini project.
The three associations which operators should belong to are Bulawayo Public Transporters Association (Bupta), Tshova Mubaiwa and Bulawayo City Transit.
Ngwenya said kombi associations were supposed to comply with the municipality’s public transport policy which was passed last year.
“I can confirm that public transporters have to be under an association. This follows the public transporters policy that came into effect last year. Commuter operators have been dragging on joining associations. We can’t say the construction of Egodini Mall has forced us, but it’s part of our policy,” she said
Kombi crews who spoke to The Chronicle yesterday said council ordered them to be part of any of the three associations so that it can control its wayward members.
“By the time Egodini shuts down all kombi crews should be part of an association. The association will be approached by council if any of its members start picking up passengers in illegal points,” said Dalumuzi Sikhosana, one of the operators.