Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
TSHOVA Mubaiwa Transport in partnership with a local company have partnered to build a $350 000 bus terminus in Belmont to cater for commuter omnibuses in a bid to ease congestion in the city centre.
The project starts today, with Arckrock Trading expected to construct a filling station, a restaurant, a shop as well as tyre changing and car washing facilities at the site.
Arckrock Trading director, Mr Greg Andrews, told The Chronicle that the new project will create a conducive environment for more than 1 300 kombi drivers and conductors as well as commuters.
“This project will go a long way in boosting economic activity in the industrial side of the city and assist the city council to ease pressure at the city centre’s pick up points used by kombis.
“We have seen many people working in the industrial sites, walking to town to catch kombis to go home. This facility will make life easier for them as they don’t have to walk long distances to the city centre,” said Mr Andrews.
He said his company will construct the complex on a Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, with the transfer to Tshova Mubaiwa coming after 20years.
Mr Andrews said the project is in line with the re-industrialisation process that is going on in Bulawayo.
“The Government has pledged to revive the industries in Bulawayo and resuscitate the economy. We’re therefore preparing for the economic changes that are going to take place. The Government must not work on its own. We all have to be involved and play our role in this re-industrialisation process,” he said.
“We have 650 Tshova Mubaiwa kombis operating from this terminus, meaning that there are more than 1 300 drivers and conductors working here. These people and the commuters they serve deserve to be at a conducive environment where they have access to other services.”
Mr Andrews said construction will be done in three phases, with the filling station being the first before the restaurant and shop and the other facilities.
“The city council has approved all our plans and the pegging process for the filling station starts tomorrow. The filling station should be complete in the next 10 weeks.
“The biggest challenge we have is funding. My company has part of the money needed for the project. I’m hoping that the Government will assist us to get funding from our bank to complete the project,” said Mr Andrews.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi visited the site last Friday and met Arckrock Trading officials and Tshova Mubaiwa officials.
He commended them for coming up with an idea to ease traffic in the city centre.
The VP advised them to consider having a website as well as a shuttle service to the airport to expand their business.
The VP, who was in Bulawayo to assess the state of the industries, pledged to engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and foreign investors to revive Bulawayo industries.