BY SILAS NKALA
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) and Tendy Three Investments (TTI) yesterday succumbed to public pressure and reviewed their vehicle parking pricing model with immediate effect.
In a statement, town clerk Christopher Dube said they were forced to review the pricing model following an outcry.
“Motorists will now be able to transfer their paid parking time to different parking bays during the time they would have paid for with effect from August 10,” Dube said.
“For example, a motorist can purchase a US$1 per hour, or its equivalent pegged at the ongoing bank rate or the RBZ auction rate, parking at Bay A and can move to Bay B or Bay C etc within their hour without being charged parking fees during the one hour that they would have purchased. The system will deduct minutes as the motorists park in different bays in the one hour.”
The new directive effectively puts parking costs at around $470 per hour.
The BCC and TTI entered into a partnership to manage the city’s vehicle parking system.
But they have been under pressure to reduce the parking fees, with businesses complaining that they were suffering huge losses as clients could not afford to have their vehicles clamped.
Motorists were being charged U$1 per hour, a figure roundly condemned by various stakeholders as
Dube said they recognised the prevailing harsh economic environment that had seen motorists failing to drive into the central business district.
“The City of Bulawayo and its technical partner will continue to engage all stakeholders and is planning an all-stakeholders indaba in due course to get a review and further feedback and input on the new system and continue developing a way forward in ensuring that Bulawayo is turned into a global smart city through implementing global smart parking solutions,” he said.
Dube said the public-private partnership under the build, operate and transfer vehicle parking scheme is aimed at boosting revenues for the local authority, and providing employment to hundreds of people.
He said funds obtained from the smart parking venture would be channelled towards road rehabilitation works.