TOP STORIES

Egodini finally re-opens

BULAWAYO’S Egodini Terminus finally opened its gates yesterday following the completion of the upgrade works on the taxi rank under Phase One of the multi-million-dollar construction project that should include a modern shopping mall, among other commercial infrastructure.

Several kombi operators had already ranked at Egodini in the morning with public transport operators expressing excitement over the new-look facility, which has new ablution facilities, neatly installed sheds for commuters, tarred and marked parking zones for kombis, smart vending stalls, and security infrastructure. 

Although the project has taken longer to complete since the terminus was closed eight years ago, transport operators hoped the re-opening of the taxi rank would ease congestion in the city centre and enhance the safety of commuters. 

The project started in 2016 and has been partially completed as only Phase 1 was opened to make way for 400 informal traders and transport operators plying mainly western suburbs routes.

By afternoon, the rank was empty after the kombis went to their usual pick up spots.

The vendors and public transporters were relocated from Egodini in 2016 after South African contractor, Terracotta Private Limited, won the tender for the project.

The scope of works included a modern complex with 750 informal trader stalls, a shopping mall, and a public transport and off-loading facility for regional and cross-border buses and minibus taxis.

A Chronicle news crew visited the site yesterday morning and observed that some kombis were already ranking at Egodini. Members of the public were also peeping in disbelief to see if Egodini was really open while others were checking out the 400 vending bays, which will be in use by the end of the week. 

However, by the close of the day, Egodini had been deserted with no kombi or commuters in sight. Earlier in an interview on site, Tshova Mubaiwa marketing director, Mr Ndaba Mabunda, said moving to Egodini was likely to boost business for registered transporters.

“We welcome the move and this is a very beautiful structure, which promises a great deal of order. We call upon the operators and vendors to be deliberate in ensuring that this project becomes a success,” he said. 

“We also hope that our commuters will embrace the chance and utilise these facilities, the project should be supported. 

“This place is clean and surely, we trust that Bulawayo residents will maintain the standard so that everything flows. 

“We also call upon operators who haven’t registered their operations to come on board and we work together on giving residents the best commuter services.” 

Mr Samuel Verengarai, a route manager for Bulawayo City Transit (BCT), said the opening of Egodini brings joy to many operators who were struggling with parking around the Central Business District. 

He said although a lot of negativity surrounds the project, he believes that it would solve challenges related to congestion and convenience for commuters. 

“We are so happy that Egodini has finally opened, although many issues are yet to be resolved we are happy that we have a place to park nicely. Our customers will be safe here and we encourage them to come back to Egodini,” said Mr Verengarai. 

Terracotta private investment director Mr Thulani Moyo who was on site to oversee the process said plans were underway to complete an additional 800 vending bays in the next three months. 

“We have been engaging operators since 2018, planning on how best we can make this project a reality. They are well aware of plans and we will help each other to ensure that everything runs smoothly in terms of security, and safety and that our vendors benefit,” he said. 

“All the respective organisations are here to see that everything runs smooth and we don’t expect any clashes from different associations,” said Mr Moyo. 

“For safety and some order, we are going to build up the process, today we started off with a number of kombis and then after a week or so we will have all the routes using Egodini as a pick-up point. 

“Our informal traders will also be moved in a phased approach as we need to keep assessing if everything is going according to plan,” he added. 

One of the kombi drivers Mr Ndabakhulu Thabetha who parked outside the rank just to get a glimpse of what was happening said he was waiting for his employer to determine if they would be registered or not. 

“The truth is we make more money from undesignated pickup areas around the CBD. Now that we all have been told to move, I am not sure if council will be able to deal with all those operators although we make more money from there than elsewhere,” he said. 

“I am not sure if we are going to register and come to Egodini like other operators but I am happy to see that indeed it has opened,” he said. 

One of the residents Mrs Nokuthula Khabo said she was excited that Egodini was opened although she was not sure if transport operators would comply. 

“We have been peeping into Egodini for the past years hoping that something massive will come out of it but we just have to accept the little progress,” she said. 

“Now that Egodini is opened we will rest from the chaos that always emerges when it’s time to board kombis hoping that the council has a plan because these drivers are going to resist this change. 

“We hope that our wait was worth it and hope the council will maintain this place so that it remains as attractive as it is today.”

Bulawayo City Council corporate affairs manager, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu, said Egodini has been officially opened as planned and that the local authority would continue enforcing by-laws. 

“Egodini opened as planned and some operators were there for commuters who used the facilities. We do hope that the figures for both kombis and commuters will improve as the week goes by while encouraging operators to comply with by-laws,” she said. 

“We will continue enforcing those laws and we expect kombis and public transport operators to operate from designated areas as we will be doing everything to ensure they comply.” 

According to council, routes that will be catered for from Egodini will be Cowdray Park, Luveve, Entumbane, Emakhandeni, Gwabalanda, Mpopoma, Magwegwe, Magwegwe North, Magwegwe West, Mpilo, United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Barbourfields, Mzilikazi, Old Pumula, Pumula North, Nkulumane 5, 10, 11 and 12, Lovendale, Pumula South, Emthunzini, Emganwini, Rangemore, Mbundane and Nketa 9. 

Chronicle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Trending Issues 28 May 2024

Africa’s Future Lies in Its Own Hands President E.D. Mnangagwa’s advice that Africans should utilize their own resources to sustain their livelihoods and avoid relying on foreign aid is a wise and timely move that all Africans should embrace and act upon. In his address marking the 61st Africa Day commemorations, the President emphasized that […]

Read More
News

Zimbabwe Rwanda Hold Midterm Review Meeting of the 2nd Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation

Statement by Ambassador Albert R. Chimbindi, Rwanda Ambassador Albert R. Chimbindi, Co-chair and Head of Delegation of the Republic of Zimbabwe;H.E Charity Manyeruke, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Rwanda;Distinguished Government Officials from Zimbabwe and Rwanda. Please allow me to express my sincere appreciation for the kind hospitality and excellent arrangements extended to our delegation in this […]

Read More
News

Zimbabwe Launches Nationwide Consultations on Climate Change Bill

Harare, May 27, 2024 – Hon. Dr. Sithembiso G.G Nyoni, the Minister of Environment, Climate, and Wildlife, yesterday opened a critical meeting in Harare. This event starts the nationwide discussions on the draft Climate Change Management Bill and the Zimbabwe Carbon Trading Framework. In her speech, Dr. Nyoni emphasized the need for collective action to […]

Read More