BY NIZBERT MOYO
THE Bulawayo City Council has expressed optimism that commuter omnibuses, which were removed from Egodini terminus in 2018 to facilitate construction of a mall, will soon return to their former bays by month end.
This follows commitment by Egodini project contractor Terracotta Trading (Pvt) Limited (TTPL) to complete phase one of the project by the end of this month.
BCC chairperson of the engineering services committee, councillor Siboniso Khumalo yesterday told Southern Eye that phase one of the project will involve the moving in of small vehicles such as kombis after water and sewage pipes have been laid and surfaces compacted.
“We still hold on to the promise by the contractor that phase one will be completed by end of this month, leading to small vehicles like kombis being moved to the bus terminus,” Khumalo said.
“We trust and hope that this will happen. I will invite the mayor to go and assess progress before we can make a decision. The contractor promised us that they were doing finishing touches for phase one of the project.”
Khumalo said phase two will see bigger buses moved in, while phase three will involve construction of buildings.
Due to the snail’s pace in construction of the mall, Bulawayo residents ended up calling on council to readvertise the tender.
This was after TTPL failed to complete the project within the set timeframes.
Residents accused the contractor of missing deadlines, thus inconveniencing informal traders who were displaced from the site in 2018.
TTPL was contracted in 2016 to rehabilitate Egodini Mall under a build, operate and transfer deal. The project was earmarked to cost US$60 million.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi told Southern Eye that if TTPL fails to deliver on its promise, residents will push for the cancellation of the contract.