VENDORS operating at the Basch Street terminus popularly known as Egodini, have been given a temporary reprieve by the Bulawayo City Council to continue with their operations until alternative space has been found for them.
The vendors were in August given four months to vacate the area to pave way for the construction of a state-of-the-art regional transportation hub.
There was an outcry soon after the notices were issued as council did not indicate where the vendors would be moved to.
Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo yesterday told Southern Eye that they had agreed that vendors and businesses operating in the area stay put until further notice.
Moyo said contractors of the proposed complex should have been on site on New Year’s Day, but had not done so because negotiations, which he would not divulge, were still continuing.
“We are waiting for the contractor to sign the contract and the moment we finalise that, the contractor will start work on site,” Moyo said.
“As for now, vendors operating around the area can remain there conducting their business as usual.”
He said council had identified various places around the city where vendors would be relocated to as soon as construction work started.
“We have since identified various places in the city where transport operators will operate from and vendors shall then follow the ranks that will be created the moment work starts at Egodini,” Moyo said.
He said the earmarked places include the old Zupco terminus along Khami Road, Zesa Power station, as well as along second, third and sixth avenues.
However, speculation has been rife in council corridors that a new contractor was being engaged.
Council initially said a South African civil engineering firm Tearracota (Pvt) Ltd had been awarded the tender to convert Egodini into a regional public transport hub for local, regional minibus taxis and luxury coaches passing through the city.
The project had been expected to start in earnest on Wednesday, with vendors and transport operators at the terminus having been given notices to vacate the terminus to pave way for construction.
With Moyo revealing that negotiations were still continuing with the contractor, doubts have now been raised whether or not the $56 million project would take off the ground.