The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has implored the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to cancel the tender awarded to Terracotta Trading Private Limited for the construction of a multi-million dollar mall in Bulawayo as the project has failed to take off.
In 2016, the local authority awarded the South African company a $60 million tender to construct Egodini Mall.
However, the project has not made progress since the relocation of vendors and public transport operators who were operating from the terminus.
The contractors were supposed to have completed the first phase by November 2019 and after missing it they set another target for March 2020.
They have since written a letter to council requesting assurance stating that their contract will not be terminated.
This is after Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube had threatened to terminate the tender if the contractor does not adhere to the stipulated deadlines.
BPRA communications officer, Kelebone Khabo said the project had been stagnant since 2016 hence it was time the local authority awarded the tender to other interested companies.
“It has been stagnant since 2016 and the contract has been constantly extended in good faith that maybe the company would honour their promise and meet their deadline,” Khabo said.
“However we cannot keep doing this, it is not fair to the people of Bulawayo who are supposed to benefit from this project. The delay has resulted in a lot of littering and congestion in the CBD. Vendors do not have designated places to sell their wares from.”
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) director, Mr Michael Ndiweni noted that the delay has immensely affected vendors and small-scale traders around the city.
“For close to two years now absolutely nothing has happened besides digging. The congestion in town already is unbearable so this extension is a serious setback to the people. We now have a lot of mixed feelings about this,” said Ndiweni.
“We are so convinced that maybe these guys had no money and were hoping to secure it after attaining the tender. We feel like they are taking this as a joke, Bulawayo has been disrespected. The city council should just revoke and re-tender to another company which would deliver timeously.”
The city council has indicated that it can only arrive at an agreement on the matter after presenting the matter to the full council next month.