Parking space abuse headache for city businesses

2015-02-10 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG business people are up in arms over the “abuse” of business parking by motorists who park their cars there for the day.

Business owners at the lower end of Langalibalele Street between Retief and East streets are complaining of motorists who park their cars there for up to 10 hours every day, depriving customers of parking.

The public are allowed to park for free in all the streets below the Retief Street. This has allegedly led to people abusing the parking space.

But while they claim to have reported the situation to the municipality, ­Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka ­Mafumbatha said they were unaware of the problem.

“This unacceptable and inconsiderate practice is ongoing for years — the ward councillor and the municipality have all been made aware of our plight but with no solution in sight,” said a concerned business owner in the area who asked not to be named.

“To compound matters, the car guards have increased, lured by the ­permanent parkers. Businesses are ­slowly sliding, as there is no more ­parking available.”

He claims to daily see people coming to park their cars, jump into a taxi and drive off. They return late in the afternoon. “There must be 30 parking bays along this street and about the same number of cars come to park here. I struggle to find parking.”

He said his customers complained ­daily because of the shortage of parking. “This is affecting our business … The municipality continues to be unresponsive to the chronic parking hogging. These professional persons arrive as early as 6 am on weekdays, hog all the parking spaces till around 4.30 pm.”

He said a proactive suggestion is to erect one-hour parking signs, introduce visible policing or even bring in the pay–and-park system.

“In the meantime, an appeal was made to the municipality and traffic department to be the early birds and restore order to Langalibalele Street.”

Madan Ghela of Ghela outfitters said the area should be rezoned as a one-hour parking area. “The traffic officers come and go … This is a problem. We have customers coming to our business complaining that they cannot find parking.

“We find that our business are not benefiting from the parking, as ­intended.”

Councillor Nalini Atwaru directed all questions to the municipality, saying the matter had been raised with them.

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