Parking system questioned

2013-10-22 00:00

A DECISION to implement a pay and display parking system in Port Shepstone on the South Coast has been met with resistance from the residents.

Yesterday lobby group AfriForum accused the municipality of not following proper procedures in awarding the tender for this service, due to be implemented by the Hibiscus Coast Municipality in two weeks’ time.

But despite objections, the municipality is not prepared to miss out on the about R10,3 million it stands to receive in revenue from this parking system over the next three years — 30% of the total revenue expected to be collected by service provider iTramas Corporation Africa.

The plan will be rolled out in the Port Shepstone Central Business District (CBD) following council approval granted in June 2011, municipal spokesperson Simon Soboyisa confirmed.

The council gave officials the go-ahead for the implementation of the system in areas where problems with illegal parking are most prevalent.

In terms of the agreement, iTramas Corporation Africa will be paying a monthly salary of R2 000 to each parking attendants (car guards), in accordance with the Department of Labour’s directives.

Provincial AfriForum spokesperson Chris Fourie questioned council’s approval of the system.

“A representative only did a presentation to the council regarding the system, but the councillors were not asked to vote.

“The municipal officials therefore did not have the authority to proceed with the tender process or to award the contact to a service provider,” said Fourie.

AfriForum has also requested municipal manager Max Mbili in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to provide them with the bid documentation relating to the parking management system.

However, municipal spokesperson Simon Soboyisa said the parking and display system was a council resolution. “There was no need for councillors to vote for the implementation as resolutions were reached by consensus. The purpose for the system is to manage parking congestion within the municipality,” he said.

“This revenue will be ring-fenced towards development and maintenance of the road infrastructure and improve public parking within the municipality.”

Soboyisa said there were three bidders that tendered and iTramas Corporation Africa was awarded the tender.

DA caucas leader Douglas Rawlins said there are concerns about the system. He said they were informed that the system would have no cost implications to the municipality.

“We agree that there should be a system in place. But we were concerned that councillors were briefed after awarding the tender. That is very unusual.”

He said the public consultation process had been followed, but it was not effective as few residents attend the public meetings.

Soboyisa said he believed the unhappiness with the new system stems from the problems experienced with the previous payment system.

AfriForum has now established an SMS line to garner support against implementing the parking system.

Director of iTramas Corporation Africa, Sabeer Ibrahim, said their system was better than those found in other towns. “We will be employing about 30 car attendants who would assist motorists on how the machines work,” he said.

Ibrahim said about 210 machines would be installed in the municipality area, with over 70 in the Port Shepstone CBD alone.

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