The city’s on-street parking system that has now been in operation for more than a year, has been a source of much frustration for motorists when it was first implemented, but a recent snap survey in the streets of the inner CBD has indicated that teething problems were ironed out and that it operates rather smoothly and that it has actually contributed towards a decrease in criminal activities in the areas where the system is operational.
“Since the inception of the parking system, we have seen a decrease in crime around the central business area particularly around crimes that involved breaking into cars,” the municipality’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Matshidiso Mothapo said, adding that there is now increased access to parking for businesses operating within the city because compared to the past, motorists no longer park for extended hours.
The project has contributed towards job creation for young people and has also managed to recruit some of those who were previously operating in the streets without any monitoring.
Mothapo confirmed that in most instances motorists are quite willing to cooperate with the parking attendants but that there are always exceptions to the rule.
“Law enforcement will be activated to effect an arrest for violation of parking laws in the event there is a motorist who is not willing to cooperate with the attendants. In the event the motorist is able to drive away before law enforcement arrives, the details of the vehicle will be saved in the system as unpaid and the next time the driver uses the parking facilities, the defaulted amount must also be paid.
“Eventually a notice of violation will be issued to the owner of the vehicle followed by a subsequent warrant of arrest if the motorist does not comply with the violation notice,” Mothapo explained.
A local businessman who makes regular use of the on-street parking, remarked that it is sometimes a bit frustrating when he has to wait while the attendant is busy with another motorist. “To wait is a reality of life and the fact that one has to wait a while, does not outweigh the luxury of having an available parking space,” he reckoned.
Story: Barry Viljoen