South African civil engineering firm, Terracotta, is set to move on site next month as the rehabilitation of Basch Street Terminus commonly known as Egodini begins.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Last year, Terracotta won the tender to rehabilitate the terminus at a cost of $60 million.
According to the latest Bulawayo City Council (BCC) minutes, the local authority would hand over the site this month and the company is expected to move on site by end of February to kick-start the work.
This came after the local authority’s Finance and Development Committee had recommended that the tender should be cancelled, due to failure by the contractor to implement the project on time.
However, the city fathers objected to the committee’s recommendations to cancel the tender, saying the project intended to benefit the people of Bulawayo in terms of job creation and development.
“Thereafter it was resolved that the recommendation of the Finance and Development Committee be not adopted and instead the tender for development of Egodini by Terracotta be not cancelled on the understanding that Council would hand over the site/ project by January 2018 at the latest; the Company to move on site by end of February, 2018 at the latest,” reads the minutes in part.
Objecting to the cancellation of the project, BCC deputy mayor Gift Banda said it was premature to cancel the tender, adding that if there were any outstanding issues, council should deal with them and also approach Terracotta in this regard.
He emphasised the need for time frames which should be used for control.
“If this was not done, the company (Terracotta) would not be obliged to complete works on time,” reads the minutes.
Councillors said the cancellation of Egodini tender would adversely affect development in the city.
The project is on a build, operate and transfer basis and will come at no cost to the council, officials say.
Bulawayo will ultimately own it, once Terracorta has recouped its investment.
The refurbishment will see the terminus handling at least three million travellers each month, according to the BCC.
As part of the redesign of the terminus area, BCC would expand existing roads into the site and create dedicated pedestrian routes to increase traffic access.
The site will include a transport hub located on the Basch Street ground level, retail sections and visitor parking bays.