Public outrage over paid parking

2017-11-15 06:00
One of the paid parking signs next to Stanger Hospital which has angered motorists.PHOTO: nkosinathi dube

One of the paid parking signs next to Stanger Hospital which has angered motorists.PHOTO: nkosinathi dube

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THE KwaDukuza Municipality’s new paid parking system has come under fire from disgruntled motorists who have petitioned against it.

Members of the Concerned Citizens Civic Association marched to the municipal offices on Saturday, November 4 to hand over a memorandum to KwaDukuza Mayor Ricardo Mthembu.
This was in protest of the contract between Vusa Isipho Trading, who administers the system in the CBD ,and the KwaDukuza Municipality.

Spokesperson for the association Rishi Pooran said they handed the memorandum to a KwaDukuza municipal representative in the mayor’s absence.

“The memorandum has been signed and there is a certain time-frame which the mayor needs to respond to as we feel this new system is illegal and has all the elements of corruption from the side of the municipality, and to make matters worse there was no proper consultation with the public,” said Pooran.

Another senior citizen who regularly visits the Stanger Hospital said it was “ridiculous” that the municipality is running the system in the area around the hospital.

“We go to the hospital and sometime sit there in the queues for five to six hours at a time.

“I find it is ridiculous that they would implement this system in such an area. I am not opposed to paid parking, but some discretion should be used to decide where an appropriate place is to expect people to pay and where not to.

“People are ill and this just exacerbates the situation.”

Commenting on the implementation of the system DA councillor and caucus leader Madhun Sing said council has pursued the parking management system for a number of reasons as reported by the mayor in the local media.

“Before the system was implemented, the DA believes there should have been wide-scale consultation with all stakeholders. The outcry is justified especially now that the motorists have to fork out R6 per hour for using a parking bay. Compared to other municipalities we believe the rate is a bit high and council must review it and come up with an affordable rate.

“What about concessions, what about motorist using the parking bay for less than half an hour, are the marshals trained to deal with the problems as they arise. Are we going to use heavy handed tactics? The DA has requested council at its last sitting to bring a full report so that gaps can be identified and fixed in order to have a buy-in from motorists. We know the mounting pressure to boycott the system and refusal to pay could pose unnecessary legal and administrative challenges. There is resistance and we must find solutions together rather than impose decisions.”

He added that some of the “grey areas” and concerns that need to be addressed by council is reducing the rate and introducing a rate for less than half an hour parking.

“With the hourly parking the ticket can be used for the duration at other parking bays as well. Motorists are being issued tickets even though their original one has not expired.

“The nuts and bolts of the system was not brought to Exco and council. We believe it was served at the municipal services portfolio committee, minuted to Exco as a progress report only that dealt with specification, tender and awarding of the tender through the supply chain management system. Councillors are barred from this process, however, it is required of us to play our oversight role.”

Vusa Isipho declined to comment on the matter and directed inquiries to KwaDukuza Municipality as they feel they are merely in the position of a sub-contractor, whereas the municipality is assessing the complaints from the community. Attempts to get a statement from the KwaDukuza Municipality were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.

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