BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has succumbed to pressure from motorists and residents over a controversial vehicle parking scheme and announced 30% of the proceeds would now be channelled towards the rehabilitation of city roads.
Council has been under fire over the US$2 million parking tender awarded to Tendy Three Investments company.
Under the new vehicle management scheme, motorists have to pay US$16 per day to park their vehicles in the city.
On Thursday, BCC management met with various civic groups, including resident associations, to discuss the smart parking contract after the latter raised concerns that stakeholders were not consulted.
In a major climbdown, the local authority agreed to set aside 30% of the proceeds for road rehabilitation works.
“We agreed that the money we are getting from the parking will help rehabilitate our roads and other service delivery issues in the city,” deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube told Southern Eye yesterday.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association programmes officer Claude Phuti said they were not consulted when council signed the deal.
“Council did not make proper consultations. It ignored the inputs of various stakeholders. Council also did not do due diligence on the tender awarding. The company that was awarded a tender should have been given a platform to show that it is capable of (undertaking) the job at hand,” Phuti said.
“It was, therefore, agreed that 30% of the proceeds from the parking fees will be channelled towards road infrastructure.”
Civic groups that attended the meeting include Habakkuk Trust, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Ibhetshu LikaZulu, Community Podium and Women Institute for Leadership Development, among others.
The parking system will be in operation from Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm.
Under the project, a video surveillance system will be installed on all roads in the central business district, and equipment worth US$700 000 has been acquired.