Parking protesters need 'proper platform'

2012-05-16 08:12
Johannesburg - Parkhurst residents who protested on Tuesday against the rollout of a paid parking system in Johannesburg needed to use the proper "platform" to get their message across, the City of Johannesburg said.

"It is, however, the duty of the city to set out proper process and platforms for the community to express their feelings about issues affecting them," spokesperson Gabu Tugwana said.

"This principle was publicly pronounced last week where the city committed to create space for the communities who wish to give further input on this programme."

He said the city would take into account additional public comment on the system.

"Since announcing its commitment, the city has started preparations to conduct further engagement with concerned residents through municipal structures which include the ward councillors and petition committee in the office of the speaker."

Fourth Avenue protest

Eyewitness News reported that several shop owners and residents took to Fourth avenue, in Parkhurst, on Tuesday to protest against the parking system.

Some set up camp along the road, and said they were willing to be arrested.

On May 9, the city said it had met the required legal obligations when it established the paid parking system.

"We issued notes to the public and businesses," Pieter de Klerk, the city's legal representative, told reporters.

"In Parkhurst, questions were raised if it [public consultation] was sufficient. We thought it was sufficient, but the community wanted more engagement," he said.

The areas targeted for the paid parking system are: Braamfontein, Parkhurst, Rosebank, Roodepoort CBD, Sandton, Corlett Drive, Brixton, Emmarentia, Birnam, Melville, Florida, Norwood, Fordsburg, Parkview, Greenside, Craighall Park, Northcliff, Rivonia and Linden.

At the moment, tariffs are set at R8 an hour and R4 for 30 minutes.

No less than 74.8% of the revenue will go to service provider Ace Parking, and 25.2% to the City of Johannesburg. Money generated from fines will go directly to the city.

The system is scheduled to be introduced in most areas in June.

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