This is a project that is set to be quite alluring to the Harare catchment area. This will be situated at the Coca Cola open space (corner Seke and Dieppe Road) in Graniteside. Some of the major features of the project will be a modernized bus rank, driving school grounds, a wholesale and flea markets plus farm produce stalls. Obviously there will be plenty more associated services that will be added as time progresses. The bus termini will mainly serve long-distance buses for destinations such as Mutare and Mutoko. The location of the project is quite convenient owing to its centrality and ease of access. This project shall also be of interest to vendors who will find a safe haven to conduct their businesses. Over a thousand vendors will be able to get trading spaces once the project is complete – there will, of course, be room for expansion.
The Harare City Council filed an application for the project with the Department of Physical Planning last year. Part of it read as follows: “Notice is hereby given that in terms of section 49 (4) of the Act (Regional, Town and Country Planning Act) of an application to change the reservation of remainder of stand 17915 STL (Corner Seke/Dieppe road), Graniteside from public open space and recreation to commercial (shops and offices) and special buildings (bus terminus and driving school training grounds)…”
The Harare City Council (HCC) has indicated that some of the required building material is now onsite. To go along with that, tendering is already in process for the various components that will be needed for the construction to take place. Processes such as excavation and brickwork are scheduled to take off this coming week. The kick-starting of all that next week has been made possible by a ZWL$15 million grant from the government.
To date material costing a total of ZWL$3.7 million has been purchased already. The whole project is earmarked for completion within the next 4 to 6 months – essentially by the end of 2020, everything should be up and running. The HCC projects that at least US$100 000 worth levies will be realized monthly from business activities that will be operating at the site once the project is completed.
The rationale for the bus terminus being located outside town like that is to keep long-distance commuter operators from getting into the CBD. This would in the long run ease vehicle traffic in the city. Regulatory authorities emphasised that the bus terminus should be state of the art with a high level of automation – global standards.
Why Projects Like These Are Important
A project like this goes a long way in formalizing the informal sector which is quite big and active locally. There is employment creation which is much needed in Zimbabwe. Especially for Harare, we need more projects like these – i.e. located at the peripheries of the CBD. This will contribute a lot to the decongestion of the CBD. Numerous business opportunities are created by such a project thus feeding into the startups and entrepreneurship culture. Rolling out such projects also puts to use land that would otherwise be lying idle – there are several patches of idle land all over major towns and cities locally.
It has often been the norm that the HCC starts projects that it does not finish. There are several projects in the city of Harare that have not been completed. So it is everyone’s wish that this project will, for a change, be seen through to completion. According to the projected project timelines we expect this project to be completed latest end of June.