BY SILAS NKALA
CONSTRUCTION of the long-awaited Egodini Mall by South African property developer, Terracotta Private Limited, is set to begin next month with an initial recruitment of at least 300 workers.
This was revealed by the company’s director Thulani Moyo on Tuesday.
In 2016, Bulawayo City Council contracted Terracota to redesign Basch Street terminus and turn it into a multi-purpose mall under a build, operate and transfer arrangement.
Moyo said the company, since it started working on site, has created 100 jobs for civil works adding that this took a lot of time and effort to lay down proper groundwork that will support the upper structures.
He said the company decided to redo other underground works which they found not at the required standard.
“If you can recall what the site was like, you remember that there were many structures and the site was a mountain. The site was not ideal for construction. So we spent a lot of unnecessary but vital money creating a new platform. I think it worked out to 60 000 cubs of material,” Moyo said.
“If we talk about civil works that needed to be done, 60 000 of civil works on that site were designed by the engineer and implemented by the civil contractor.”
He said civil works were done to create a platform suitable for the project.
They were then given a construction permit to start underground service works.
“We then add more to get to these 100 jobs. Those 100 jobs relate to the civil works and the installation of infrastructure. Over and above when it comes to the top structures we anticipate that we should create an additional 250 to about 300 jobs and that when we would start to see our jobcentre doing the work that it was supposed to and those people who registered a lot more of them starting to see benefits,” Moyo said.
Moyo said if the work was being done at a flat surface the civil works that were done would not have been done and those initial 100 jobs would not have been there but only top structures would have been material.
The project was projected to gobble US$60 million.
Moyo said they were expecting to complete the underground work at the end of this month and begin the above ground work first phase which he expects to complete around October this year.
He said the first phase was initially expected to be complete by August this year but due to Covid-19 lockdowns the process has been delayed thereby pushing the deadline to October this year.
During the bids in 2015, Terracotta competed with other two firms with one of them proposed to invest US$1m, the second one proposed to invest US$5m and Terracotta proposed to invest US$60 million in the project.
Moyo said the land in which the project is constructed is owned by the council while his company has a 40 year lease with the Bulawayo City Council in which he said at the expiry of the lease after 40 years, they will return the property to the council.