City of Johannesburg to get fraction of parking bay money
THE City of Johannesburg will receive 20%-40% of income generated from kerbside parking payments, depending on whether the targeted suburb has the potential for higher or lower income.
There is paid parking in the Johannesburg central business district and Braamfontein, and the scheme is being extended to the suburbs of Norwood, Melville, Brixton, Emmarentia, Rosebank, Roodepoort, Birnam, Parkview, Sandton, Florida, Fordsburg, Greenside, Linden, Rivonia, Craighall Park and Northcliff.
This has sparked an outcry about a lack of consultation with the affected communities, as public resistance and a court battle over the proposed e-tolling system on Gauteng's highways continue.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Democratic Alliance (DA) demanded that the consortium operating the toll system be investigated, on suspicion that politically connected people may benefit.
The paid parking scheme in Johannesburg seeks to ensure compliance with parking laws; that motorists pay for the use of parking bays; the collection by the city of fines for parking offences, and the collection and accurate reporting of parking revenue.
Critics have questioned the wisdom of outsourcing parking services while the City of Joburg struggles to collect revenue, largely because of its billing crisis.
But industry experts have suggested the parking service is capital- and labour-intensive, and not "as simple as it looks".
City of Joburg spokesman Gabu Tugwana said on Monday the metro expected to receive 20%-40% of the revenue collected from the suburbs' parking bays.
A figure of 25,2% for all the places identified for paid parking services in Johannesburg is set in the contract for the service.
"The city shall be paid 25,2% of the amount received for all consents given," reads the agreement with Ace Parking Services, signed in December 2009.
The remainder of the income generated (74,8%) would be retained by Ace Parking, in what appears to be part of a growing trend across all spheres of government to outsource services.
Mr Tugwana said the city would not incur any costs in the running of the scheme, which charges a minimum of R8 an hour. "It is a solution for proper traffic flow in areas where there is a lot of traffic throughout the day; where people park for long hours," Mr Tugwana said.
Ace Parking MD Juliet Paulsen said on Monday her company's model was "reasonable" because the companies that were shortlisted for the contract were all within a narrow band of each other in terms of percentages.
Other cities, including the DA-run Cape Town, were using a paid parking model similar to Johannesburg's.
The head of transport programme management in Cape Town, Dave Lowry, said authorities previously had outsourced a company to install and maintain fixed parking meters.
The new model of paid parking - with parking marshals providing on-street services and also watching over the vehicles - created employment and had an added element of safety, Mr Lowry said.
Mr Tugwana said the job creation component of the scheme was the responsibility of Ace Parking, and the City of Joburg had no projections of how many jobs would be created.
"The contractors would know the employment targets and they would have to hire more people depending on how busy it is," Mr Tugwana said.
The DA councillor in ward 73 (Norwood), Marcelle Ravid, sent out an e-mail on Monday to residents indicating that she was not aware of the plans to introduce paid parking in her ward.
Mr Tugwana could not comment on whether there had been consultation with communities over the planned paid parking.
However, the agreement with Ace Parking stated that the City of Joburg "shall facilitate to inform all affected parties about the implementation of the parking system by use of both the print and electronic media".
Ms Paulsen said she understood that there was a broad public participation and awareness about paid parking in the City of Johannesburg.
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