Construction works at the Egodini Mall have picked up pace with most of the underground works under Phase 1A almost complete, Terracotta Trading (Private) Limited (TTPL) director Thulani Moyo has said.
The South African contractor won the tender to upgrade the former Basch Street Terminus into a regional public transport hub in 2012.
Addressing journalists during a virtual Media Briefing Meeting, Tuesday, Moyo said they had anticipated having completed Phase 1A by August 2021 but due to the lockdown they expect to complete the construction works by October 2021.
Phase 1A of the project includes the construction of 1 100 informal traders’ stalls, a 100-bay taxi rank, security wall, security tower, motor retail, taxi associations offices, public ablutions and a service lane.
Moyo said the underground works will be finished by the end of July and the construction of above-ground structures will then commence.
“We have upgraded and installed water, sewer and fire services at the site. We could have decided to make use of the ones that are already there but we wanted to make sure that we put something that people can use over a lengthy period of time.”
“Of course the lockdown slowed us down but we are glad that we have managed to cover so much ground and also the announcement by the central government that the construction sector is now listed under essential service providers enables us to do our work effectively,” said Moyo.
Moyo said the initial project has since created 100 jobs and as the construction of above-ground structures they anticipate creating more jobs for the locals.
He added that of the works that have been done thus far, the contractors have partnered and made use of services of local companies.
“We sought services of local companies and they have been doing a great job which the Council is also content with. We are just rounding up the underground works and very soon people will be seeing structures rising, something that everybody is anticipating,” Moyo said.
“Since we started reworking on site, an additional 30 construction jobs have been created. We hope that as we start working on the above-ground structures we will be able to create more jobs on site.”
Moyo also refuted claims that the project was worth US$60 million dismissing it as a creation of the media.
“We really do not know where the $60 million figure came from. It was probably a craft from members of the media,” alleged Moyo.
“We do realise that we should have addressed this issue earlier as an organisation. What we know is that we made our own submissions to the council and to peg the project $60 million would have been too steep.”
Meanwhile, BCC chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou revealed that the local authority had secured the development permit after consolidating the stands within the construction site.
“All the land at the site belongs to BCC. There are no intentions to transfer it to anyone at the moment. The local authority completed all the necessary procedures that allow for exclusive ownership,” said Zhou.