Paid parking mayhem in Pietermaritzburg

2015-10-20 10:07
Mohamed Sheriff of FZ Auto, Debby de Koning of Oakleigh Funeral Home, Kevin Naicker of Hyundai, Pops Reddy of AC Crampton, Anel Vlok of Extreme Machines and Bridget Jones of Pronel show their disapproval outside their Greyling Street businesses after

Mohamed Sheriff of FZ Auto, Debby de Koning of Oakleigh Funeral Home, Kevin Naicker of Hyundai, Pops Reddy of AC Crampton, Anel Vlok of Extreme Machines and Bridget Jones of Pronel show their disapproval outside their Greyling Street businesses after (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - Businesses and staff in Greyling Street will now have to set aside almost R1 000 for parking every month after the city’s paid parking system reached their ­doorsteps last week.

This as the city yesterday confirmed they plan to expand the paid parking ­system to the Raisethorpe and Scottsville business areas soon.

Business owners in Greyling Street said last Thursday was the first time the ­“horrid parking attendants” showed up demanding money from their staff.

Bridget Jones of HR company Pronel said her staff paid R6 every hour as they were told they would receive a R300 fine should they choose not to.

“We have calculated how much we will be spending per month and it adds up to R960 a month for my staff members. I think that is quite ridiculous considering there are no other options for parking in the area,” said Jones.

She said she has been operating her business from Greyling Street for 12 years and should the parking system remain without any other options, she will ­consider moving elsewhere.

“This is a real deterrent and inconvenience to my clients who sometimes only pop in for 20 minutes. As for my staff paying each day without an option of a monthly parking ticket and a reduced rate is completely ridiculous,” added Jones.

Businesses in the area said they depend on roadside parking for clients as well as staff and R6 an hour would deter clients from doing business with them.

Dealer principal for Hyundai Kevin ­Naicker said he was asked to pay per hour for the dealership’s courtesy and test ­vehicles.

“We have for years been parking on the road outside our dealership. Our courtesy and test vehicles also park there and it is much easier for our customers. If we were given notice that this parking system would come into play here then we could have made alternate arrangements but now they rock up and we must just pay, no questions asked,” said Naicker.

Naicker said his staff had already been issued with R300 traffic violation fines after they refused to pay the R6 per hour.

“This is a huge hindrance to our ­businesses and no one has contacted us regarding this. One day the signs were put up and the next the attendants were here,” added Naicker.

The paid parking system is now ­effective from Victoria Road to Burger Street and from West Street to ­Masukwana Street.

Owner of Parklane Spar Cameron Mackenzie said the paid parking system is now causing strain on his business as people flock to park in the Parklane Spar parking lot.

“We offer free parking to our customers and it is safe so people have now been parking by my store and walking to the businesses they need to go to. I feel ­especially sorry for the small businesses and people who are coming to town to buy low-cost items,” said Mackenzie.

Msunduzi municipality acting ­spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said signboards were erected throughout the area and pamphlets were placed on ­customers’ windscreens and handed out to passers-by.

Madonda added that monthly passes will not be provided to staff of businesses as the by-laws do not allow for it thus forcing motorists to pay more than R50 a day.

The parking meter system, charging R6 an hour, was first introduced to the city in February 2013 after a partnership ­between the city and a private company called Panzascore.

Madonda said the paid parking system is beneficial to the city.

“Effective regulated parking for motor vehicles, outstanding parking turnover, sustainable jobs by formalising car guards, generating income for the city and creation of jobs are some of the ­benefits of the paid parking system,” said Madonda.

She added that the system also ­increases clients for business due to ­greater availability of parking. However business owners strongly disagree

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  parking

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