Bulawayo City Council and a South Africa-based company — Terracotta—have signed an agreement for a project worth more than $50 million aimed at upgrading Basch Street Terminus, popularly known as Egodini, into a regional transport hub and shopping complex.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The project, mooted more than three years ago, has been in limbo with both the local authority and the contracted company reportedly not committing themselves to the commencement of the venture.
According to the latest council minutes, the project will soon commence after the two parties signed the lease agreement.
“It will be recalled that council (06-02-2013) resolved that Terraccotta (Pvt) Ltd be offered the tender for redevelopment of Basch Street Terminus (Egodini) into a regional transport hub and shopping complex and further negotiations be carried out pertaining to land tenure as appropriate,” read part of the minutes.
“It was reported at the last council meeting of 7th October, 2015 that the Lease Agreement was ready for signing. Please be advised that the Lease Agreement has now been signed by both parties. The Departments of Engineering Services on behalf of Council and Terracotta Trading (Pvt) Ltd will now work on the modalities of implementing the project,” Bulawayo City Council said.
The project is expected to cost about $59 million. The South African firm won the tender ahead of two other companies with one of the bidders said to have offered to carry out the same project at a cost of $3 million while the other asked for $30 million.
Terracotta was adjudged the most suitable firm because of its wide experience and capacity to carry out massive projects after it submitted details of a similar project it carried out in South Africa.
Egodini is used by commuter omnibus operators plying mostly western suburbs routes and is the busiest in the city alongside Renkini long-distance bus rank.
However, the plans to develop Egodini into a regional transport hub and shopping mall will lead to displacement of more than 600 informal traders.