Brakes on driving schools

2016-05-24 06:00

Driving schools operating in and around the Athlone Stadium parking lot will have to find alternative arrangements from next month.

The City of Cape Town has identified a number of driving schools that have been illegally conducting their business on the premises, located in the parking lot behind the stadium.
According to Yvette Tsolo, the City’s head of facilities, the driving schools who are currently operating at the stadium have no formal agreement with the City.
In recent months, the fence surrounding the stadium’s parking lot on the southern side has been damaged by vehicles used by driving schools, including trucks. The trucks also pose a weight bearing problem to the surface of the lot.

The parking lot at the northern side of the stadium is currently used as a thoroughfare by schoolchildren and the presence of various vehicles on the site could pose an immediate safety risk. The City is planning to fence-off this side of the stadium in the next financial year.

Lee-Roy Montanus, a Bridgetown resident and driving instructor in Athlone, says that although he does not use the stadium’s parking lot often, the increased activity in the area, particularly relating to trucks, has raised a few eybrows.
“I have been working in this area now for more than five years. There was nothing (in terms of complaints), because it was just the Code 08 vehicles which would do the parking there. Now we are seeing the Code 14 has also been parking there. Ever since they started putting up fences on the opposite side of the stadium, at Field Crescent, there have been a few incidents where the fence has been damaged by the trucks and that has been a reason for them to get the driving schools off the property.”

Montanus says that he only uses the parking lot to have his clients become accustomed to the car being used before they move to the roads and from there he uses the testing yards.
“The only disadvantage about the stadium is at night it becomes dangerous. Now and then there are a few shooting incidents, but there have not been any recently.
“It is becoming so busy around the stadium with all the driving schools that you hardly have space to operate.”
He says that he will abide by the notice and said that they do have an agreement with the City, but that it does not relate to the usage of the stadium’s premises.
“We have not engaged with the City. We deal with the City concerning lessons and we have a tender with them, so we don’t have anything bad to say about them doing this,” says Montanus.

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