The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE much-anticipated Egodini Bus Terminus Project in Bulawayo, has restarted with Terracotta Private Limited, committing that phase 1A of works will be complete by August.
The project has been subject to a number of false starts since the South African based developer was awarded the tender more than eight years ago. The Covid-19 induced lockdown further worsened the project’s plight as the developer could not move to site to commence works.
With the relaxation of the national lockdown, the developer a couple of weeks ago commenced civil works on site.
However, when Sunday News visited the site yesterday there was no evidence that any works have been taking place.
There were only five truck loads of pit sand, one truck load of gravel and approximately 5 000 bricks at one corner of the site.
The project office that is located just adjacent to the site was locked with vendors operating in front of it claiming they had not witnessed any activities at the site as suggested by the developer. In a telephone interview from his South Africa base one of the company’s directors, Mr Thulani Moyo confirmed that it was now all systems go with various contractors now moving on site.
He, however, expressed dismay at a number of alleged falsehoods which were being peddled around the project saying some of the delays were not caused entirely by them.
“What has to be noted is that council only managed to give us the development permit to work on the project in October last year then we had the national lockdown to deal with the and the annual contractors closure. However, all this aside construction works at the Egodini site have recommenced and are being ramped up gradually.
Immediately upon the Government relaxing Covid-19 lockdown regulations, the developer mobilised various well known and established Bulawayo companies to commence construction material supplies and civil construction works at the site,” said Mr Moyo.
He said they intended to have completed phase 1A of the project by August this year. Phase 1A of the project includes the construction of 1 100 informal traders’ stalls, a 100-bay taxi rank, security wall, security tower, motor retail, taxi associations offices, public ablutions and a service lane. Phase 1B will then include the construction of the bus terminus building, fast-food shops and the grocery anchor.
“The developer is scaling up construction works in line with Covid-19 regulations to ensure the safety of all persons working on the site and intends completing Phase 1A in August 2021.
We are in the process of organising a site visit where we will invite members of the media and key stakeholders in the city where we want them to have an appreciation of the entire project and what we are doing now because we realised there is a lot of falsehoods that are being peddled relating to this project,” said Mr Moyo.
He revealed that JR Goddard as the appointed civil works contractor returned to site in the first week of March 2021 to recommence civil works.
“On the material supply side, other significant Bulawayo based companies that registered and tendered as suppliers to the project such as Davis Granite, PPC Zimbabwe and China-Zimbabwe Baocheng Bricks have all started delivering their orders of construction materials to site. The project is therefore demonstrably positively contributing to the economy of Bulawayo,” he said.
Terracotta, which won the tender in September 2012, gave a rave review as part of their resume, stating that their past projects include the Edendale Shopping Mall in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, Chris Hani Crossing Taxi facility in Gauteng and the Tsakane Mall Taxi rank again in Gauteng.