BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
GOVERNMENT has expressed concern over delays in the construction of Bulawayo’s proposed Egodini Mall, more than three years after South African firm Terracorta won the tender to undertake the project.
Terracorta was awarded the tender in 2015 to develop Basch Street Terminus, popularly known as Egodini, into a state-of-the-art regional road transport hub and mall at a cost of $60 million.
According to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC), once complete the project has a potential to create thousands of jobs for unemployed Bulawayo youths.
However, the only movement since 2015 was in March 2018 when Egodini was fenced off, and vendors relocated to new vending sites.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister, Judith Ncube told Southern Eye yesterday that her office recently summoned the company’s directors to explain delays in undertaking the project.
“We summoned the directors to my office to explain the delay, and in their explanation they said they were putting final touches before construction work can begin. However, we have not seen any movement yet and we have summoned them again. I was supposed to meet them last week, but because of the funeral wake [of Callistus Ndlovu] the meeting could not take place,” Ncube said.
“Government is worried over the delays, and we want to find out and understand from them what is stalling the whole project. If they have any problems, a solution has to be found; Bulawayo awaits that project.”
At some point, Terracotta said it would launch a broad-based retail equity scheme to allow Bulawayo residents to acquire a maximum of 30% shareholding in the Egodini project in a bid to raise capital for construction.
Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited director, Thulani Moyo was unreachable for comment.
Government officials, such as former Local Government ministry secretary,George Mlilo and former Resident minister Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo, at one point raised concerns over the deal and accused Bulawayo councillors of underhand dealings.
They claimed that some senior council officials were linked to the South African company that was awarded a 99-year lease to the terminus.