By Mbekezeli Ncube
THE Hwange Local Board (HLB) is finalising work on converting its abandoned bus terminus in Empumalanga suburb into a vending site.
HLB town secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose said the local authority had resolved to install vending bays at Empumalanga bus terminus to enable registered vendors to conduct their business at a designated place.
“We intend to turn the bus terminus into a proper marketplace with vending bays. We have realised that the terminus is no longer serving its intended purpose, thus the reason we are seeking to utilise the infrastructure for a more viable activity,” he said.
The bus terminus was constructed in the 1980s, but the number of buses and kombis ranking there has dwindled over the years as commuters are increasingly preferring to hitchhike private vehicles popularly known as mushikashikas.
Mdlalose said the HLB would also refurbish the ablution facilities at the terminus to create a conducive and convenient environment for vendors and their clients.
Elton Mguni, a vegetable vendor in the town, welcomed the development adding there was need for the local authority to expedite the conversion of the terminal into a vending area.
“We are quite grateful the council is considering turning this terminus into a vending site, it seems they are taking long to put up proper facilities for us to operate from. The infrastructure at the bus station especially the toilets are in bad shape as they were neglected for years and there has been vandalism by the residents,” he said.
Mguni is one of the longest serving vendors in Hwange urban with over 20 years in the trade.
He said operating from a designated place enabled council to monitor traders and maintain hygiene in the coal mining town.