By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE Covid-19 pandemic has stalled the completion of the multimillion-dollar Egodini Mall project in Bulawayo.
In 2016, the Bulawayo City Council awarded Terracotta Trading Limited (TTPL) a US$60 million tender for the redevelopment of the Basch Street terminus popularly known as Egodini under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) facility.
TTPL started working on the project in March 2018, resulting in the relocation of vendors and public transport operators. The contractors were supposed to have completed the first phase by November 2019 and after missing the deadline they set another target for August 2020.
Since then, the project has failed to take off leading to both residents and councillors demanding the termination of the deal.
Addressing journalists during a media tour of the project, Terracotta Director Thulani Moyo revealed that work was behind owing to Covid-19 lockdowns and other challenges associated with services providers.
“Our projections are that we will complete the taxi rank in April. Zupco taxis and Zupco buses will then come back on site and then we will continue other works focusing on the informal traders, for phase1A,” Moyo said.
“So much work has been done here on site, it is just that it is under -ground civil works, digging of trenches, laying of pipes, enabling works, putting in sewer lines and underground storm drains. It is actually a lot of work which needs engineers to pay attention to detail and is actually more critical than the actual structure in the ground that people will be able to see. We call on stakeholders to be a bit more patient as we will be able to start actual building soon,” he said.
He added that work on taxi rank roads will commence on February 7 and is expected to be completed by March 22 this year, while taxi rank islands will begin on March 7 and be completed by April 8.
“Vending stalls for informal traders will be built from February 14 and should be done by April 29. Informal traders’ area paving of 7250 square metres will be done from March 14 to May 13, while 98.7 tonnes of steelwork will be put up from January 10 to May 27, this year,” he said.
Moyo said Zupco rank roads will be constructed between February 7 and March 25, while Zupco rank island will be built from March 7 to April 8. He also revealed that over 120 people had been employed at the site to date.