Vusumuzi Dube, Municipal Reporter
THE developer of the much anticipated Egodini Bus Terminus, Terracotta Private Limited, has revealed that the first phase of the project will be open for trading by November 2019 as they work towards launching the site’s contact centre.
The contact centre will act as a job centre, where people will be able to leave their curriculum vitaes, which the contractors will then consider when they require people to work for them. It will also have a business centre, where sub-contractors will leave their company profiles also for consideration by the contractors.
Responding to question from Sunday News from his South Africa base, Terracotta director, Mr Thulani Moyo revealed that contrary to claims that there was no activity taking place at the site since it was condoned off in March, workers were busy doing a number of pre-construction work inclusive of carrying out a final topographical survey of the site to confirm the preliminary civil engineering design of the development.
He said what has prolonged the studies was the fact that they could not carry them out while the facility was being used but had to wait for it to be totally vacant.
“The project has already commenced and that is why you see certain activities on site. In terms of the development timelines, the first phase of the development will be open for trading in November 2019, while the second and third phases will be open for trading in October 2020 and November 2021 respectively.
“It is not correct that there is little progress on the project. The site was not a vacant site and had a large number of informal traders, taxi operators, businesses and commuters utilising the facility. On handing the site over to the developer, we encountered a slight delay in relocating certain occupants to their new trading facilities,” said Mr Moyo.
He revealed that there were also adhering to a strict demotion protocol that will see most of the material they removed being able to be used by the Bulawayo City Council in other projects.
“A key component of the demolition plan and approvals from the Environmental Management Agency is that as much recyclable material should be reclaimed by the developer and handed over to BCC for re-use in other public facilities prior to any demolition works being undertaken on site.
“As a result of this task being done in a manner that ensures salvaged material is re-usable, these works are delicate and time consuming. Once this construction activity has been completed and BCC auditors verify that recyclable material that was identified has been received by the City then full scale demolition and civil works will commence,” said Mr Moyo.
He said the establishment of the contact centre had been necessitated after various stakeholder engagements with residents, informal traders and public transport associations had emphasised that employment for the project must be done in a transparent manner that will ensure the project benefits unemployed residents of Bulawayo.
He further dispelled fears that the developer could run out of funding revealing that one of its shareholders had recently listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
“The developer is a special purpose vehicle that has been established by shareholders with an impeccable track record of having jointly developed over 70 shopping centres in South Africa and other Southern African countries. These credentials are evidenced by one of its shareholders successfully listing a portion of its private property portfolio for more than R5,5 billion on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in June 2018,” said Mr Moyo.
The project which experienced a number of false starts since Terracotta won the tender in September 2012, is expected to gobble close to $60 million, with the company also awarded with a 99-year lease to the terminus.