New parking opposition

2015-10-28 10:35
Kara Nichha’s manager Sanele Zuma signs the petition against paid parking in Raisethorpe outside the Chota Motala Road store. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

Kara Nichha’s manager Sanele Zuma signs the petition against paid parking in Raisethorpe outside the Chota Motala Road store. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Small businesses in Scottsville and Raisethorpe are taking a stand against the paid parking system that has been planned for their areas.

They are petitioning against private company Panzascore’s decision to ­implement the next phase of the system to areas outside the CBD.

“This does not make sense at all. I have customers who come in to buy R10 worth of meat, and I worry about how they will afford the R6 extra for parking for a few minutes,” said United Meats owner Waseem Moosa.

The Witness reported recently that according to the Msunduzi ­Municipality, the paid parking system would soon expand from the city centre to business areas in Raisethorpe and Scottsville. The municipality awarded the tender for the parking system to Panzascore in 2013.

Moosa said he would happily sign the petition being collected against the paid parking system.

“We cater for people who do not earn a lot. If they are buying R10 worth of meat, that is all they can afford. I know of customers who have cars but are not rich. Is the municipality saying that all people who drive cars are rich and can afford to spend R6 on parking for a few minutes?” he asked.

Kara Nichha’s, a low-priced ­take-away with branches in Scottsville and Raisethorpe, has also added its voice to the cause.

The manager of the Raisethorpe branch, Sanele Zuma, said the Kara Nichha’s group prided itself on its low prices, and paid parking would affect the business drastically.

“People mostly come in and don’t expect to spend a lot, but now they will be spending more because they have to pay for parking. We are very happy that the petition is going around,” he said.

DA MPL Mergan Chetty said the DA had introduced the petition to the ­businesses and was calling on people to sign it.

“We objected to this from inception as we could see the shortfalls. This was a hasty, ill-conceived plan to benefit tenderpreneurs,” said Chetty, adding that he hoped businesses would realise the impact of this roll-out.

He added that the DA understood the need to regulate parking within the CBD, however, it should have been “run solely by council” and not “passed off” to a private company for financial gain.

“If they [the council] applied their minds, they could have run the paid parking system on their own and it would have been cheaper. It also would not go to Raisethorpe and Scottsville as tenderpreneurs think about making money, and the council would have ­taken the low-income residents into consideration,” added Chetty.

He said that expanding the paid parking system to the city’s outskirts “would have more far-reaching ­consequences” for the lower income suburbs as compared to business areas.

“We strongly believe the council is not taking the interests of small businesses and lower income residents into account.”

Panzascore referred The Witness to the Msunduzi Municipality for ­comment.

The municipality said in turn it would respond to questions on Wednesday.

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