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South African company contracted to construct a multi-dollar Egodini Mall in Bulawayo has failed to meet the deadline for the completion of a taxi rank and informal traders’ stalls again. The project was supposed to be completed by the end of April this year.
In 2016, the Bulawayo City Council awarded Terracotta Trading Limited (TTPL), a US$60 million tender for the redevelopment of the Basch Street terminus popularly known as Egodini under the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) facility.
The company started working on the project in March 2018, resulting in the relocation of vendors and public transport operators.
The contractors were supposed to have completed the first phase by November 2019, and after missing the deadline, they set another target for August 2020.
Since then, the multi-dollar project has failed to take off, leading to both residents and councilors demanding the termination of the deal.
Speaking to journalists soon after touring the project, Terracotta Director, Thulani Moyo said the structures will now be completed at the end of August this year. Moyo cited the lack of ideal equipment and steel as some of the challenges which caused the delay.
“The main issue for us is that we took a bit of time trying to resolve the issue of the base layers as a certain strength was required. We played with a few formulas. Remember, we want to make sure this lasts for a very long time.
“There was a delay in the procurement of steel, which we were importing, and from a South African perspective, it was challenging to find steel as they had their backlogs,” said Moyo.
The (TTPL) director said the company is also looking for a batching plant that could mix more concrete at one time.
Currently, Moyo said the company is relying on one concrete mixer, which can only make a few quantities of concrete.
“Unfortunately in Bulawayo, we did not find a batching plant.
“The only one in Harare and we are trying to find ways so at the moment we have one concrete mixer to mix. This dictates the pace at which we can cast concrete. If we had a batching plant, it would help us have a faster pace,” said the contractor.
Moyo revealed that the taxi rank will be completed first. The informal trader stalls are supposed to accommodate over a thousand vendors.