The South African firm hired to build the multimillion-dollar Egodini Mall in Bulawayo has failed to fulfil the deadline set for the Egodini Mall project. The project was scheduled to be finished by the end of April of this year.
The Bulawayo City Council granted Terracotta Trading Limited (TTPL) a US$60 million tender in 2016 for the reconstruction of the Basch Street terminal, also known as Egodini, under the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) facility.
Progress and developments of the Egodini Mall Project
In March 2018, the corporation began working on the project, which resulted in the relocation of merchants and public transportation providers. The contractors were intended to finish the first phase by November 2019, but after falling short, they set another date for August 2020.
Since then, the multimillion-dollar project has failed to take off, prompting both citizens and councillors to urge that the agreement be terminated. Terracotta Director Thulani Moyo told the media shortly after viewing the project that the buildings will now be completed by the end of August this year. Moyo cited a shortage of suitable equipment and steel as some of the issues that contributed to the delay.
According to the (TTPL) director, the business is also seeking a batching facility that can mix more concrete at once. Moyo stated that the organization is currently reliant on a single concrete mixer, which can only produce a limited amount of concrete. Unfortunately, Bulawayo lacks a batching facility. This determines how quickly the contractors can cast concrete.
Moyo stated that having access to a batching facility will help them accelerate the project. Moyo further stated that the taxi rank would be the first to be completed. Over a thousand vendors are expected to be accommodated in the informal trader booths.
All you need to know about the Egodini Mall construction project from inception to date. Below is the latest on the project and a project timeline
Egodini Mall Project to be Handed Over to BBC
Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited, the land developer hired to build Bulawayo’s Egodini Mall, has stated that the project will be handed over to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) in April this year. More than seven years have passed since the project began.
Thulani Moyo, Terracotta’s director, asked stakeholders to be patient, noting that the project’s primary stumbling block was subterranean civil works, which required expertise. According to him, the project was also delayed by the COVID-19 lockdown period. However, Moyo stated that most of the subterranean civil works had been done but that the project was four months behind schedule.
Work on Egodini Mall
According to Moyo, the business expects to finish the taxi rank in mid-April. Zupco cabs and buses will then return to the site, and the corporation will continue with further activities for phase 1A, focusing on the informal traders. So much work has already been done on-site, according to Moyo.
It’s only that the task entails excavating trenches, laying pipes, allowing operations, and installing sewage lines and subsurface storm drains beneath. According to Moyo, it is a lot of labour that requires engineers to pay close attention to detail, and it is really more important than the visible structure on the ground. He stated that stakeholders should practice patience as they would be able to begin actual construction shortly.
According to Moyo, roadworks will begin on February 7 and will be completed by March 22 this year, while work on the taxi rank islands will begin on March 7 and will be completed on April 8. The taxi rank’s steelworks began in August 2021 and are slated to be completed by April 22. The construction of vending stalls for informal traders will begin on February 14 and be completed by April 29.
The 7 250 square meter space for informal merchants will be completed between March 14 and May 13, while 98,7 tonnes of steelwork will be installed between January 10 and May 27 this year. A Zupco rank will be erected between March 7 and April 8 at the location, among other things.
Construction of Zimbabwe’s biggest infrastructure development in 24 years- the Egodini mall which was set to open its doors to the public this year has stalled due to the country’s financial breakdown.
Contractors developing the project that is aimed to change the face of the city business-wise have not been on site. Only test holes drilled by geotechnical and hydrological teams remain in place, but the work has stopped.
“The Zimbabwean economy is not doing well at the moment. As the economy improves, then we will do phase two and as the economy improves, we then do phase three. That is the way it will actually work,” said Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni.
“We have summoned the project directors and are putting final touches before construction work can continue,” Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube added.
Located in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Egodini mall is on a build, operate and transfer basis and would come at no cost to the council. The site will include a transport hub located on the Basch Street ground level, retail sections and parking bays.
South African contractor, civil engineering firm Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited, won the tender to upgrade the former Basch Street Terminus into a regional public transport hub in 2012 ahead of two other companies.
The refurbishment is expected to see the terminus handling at least three million travellers per month, according to the council. As part of the redesign of the terminus, the council will expand existing roads into the site and create dedicated pedestrian routes to increase traffic access.
Upon completion the development is expected to would change the face of the city business-wise. Bulawayo was set to ultimately own it once Terracotta had recouped its investment. According to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC), the opening of the mall has been further pushed back because the contractor is not ready.
“Councillors’ opinions are divided. Some want us to cancel the deal, others want us to engage the contractor. We are yet to receive the progress report from council management and officials on the current state of work at Egodini. Councillors” opinions are divided. Some want us to cancel the deal, others want us to engage the contractor. We are yet to receive the progress report from council management and officials on the current state of work at Egodini,” said Solomon Mguni.
Local companies blamed for delays of the Egodini Mall in Bulawayo
Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited, a South African property developer, accused Bulawayo firms of delaying Egodini Mall’s development. COVID-19 lockdowns imposed by the government in 2020, according to company director Thulani Moyo, have also contributed to the delays.
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Under a build, operate, and transfer (BOT) arrangement, Terracotta was engaged by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) in 2016 to renovate the Basch Street station and transform it into a multi-purpose mall. According to the company, the renovation would cost a total of $60 million. However, there has been no apparent construction. Moyo, on the other hand, indicated that subterranean construction of 5 kilometres of water, sewage, and fire lines had been completed.
Delays in the Egodini Mall Project
According to Moyo, the stakeholder’s meeting agreed that the project should attempt to strengthen Bulawayo businesses, but they still caused delays and took an excessive amount of time to provide goods. If the firm had been allowed to import supplies from South Africa, Moyo said the project might have been completed far sooner.
Residents are becoming increasingly frustrated with the project’s failure. The Terracotta tender has been cancelled due to a petition from residents. According to Moyo, the project’s first phase would be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
Phase 1A has 100 informal merchant booths, a 100-bay taxi rank, a security wall, a security tower, motor, retail, and taxi association offices, public restrooms, and a service lane. In the second phase, a bus station, fast-food restaurants, and a supermarket anchor will be added. The Bulawayo Progressive People Association (BPRA)’s Sibindi alleged that the Bot Egodini Mall arrangement had taken citizens for a ride.
Sibindi said that the council had given the corporation the runaround since they were so dependent on the location. As a result, people’s lives have suffered as a result. Sibindi also expressed his displeasure, adding that it made no sense to award the deal to a business that lacked funds.
Thembelani Dube, the BPRA’s secretary for administration, called on the federal government to take over the project. Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube, on the other hand, asked citizens to be patient. When completed, the mall will be one of the city’s major development projects for over two decades.