Joburg's always had a paid parking system - City

Gabu Tugwana explains decision to roll out system to business nodes (May 9)

Johannesburg has always had a paid parking system

The City of Johannesburg welcomes the assistance of the media in uncovering that its contractor, Ace Parking, apparently breached their contract by sub-contracting to another service provider without properly informing the city.

As a result of this, the city has started engaging Ace Parking with a view to remedy the breach of contract and other steps possible to take.

Joburg is a high performing metropolitan government that pro-actively contributes and builds a sustainable, socially inclusive, locally integrated and globally competitive Gauteng City Region.

Having said this, it is important to reiterate that most cities have a parking management system together with enforcement measures to ensure a fair simple parking solution for motorists. Paid parking systems are a primary municipal management strategy for ensuring that traffic flow and reduction of parking problems.

Benefits of this system are:

  • Efficient use of parking facilities where traffic congestion exists and in creating better use of available space 
  • Reduction of congestion within areas close to business activity or areas where parking spots are always overcrowded
  • Facilitation of free movement of communities at public spaces 
  • Reducing the risk of damage to vehicles who either get damaged by other motorists or broken into by criminal elements

Johannesburg has always had a system of paid parking especially around business nodes using parking meters and meter wardens. Over a period, the city's infrastructure became too costly to maintain because of vandalism, theft, change of currency and phasing out of coins, among other things. Thus this system was scrapped in favour of a more modern system that comes with added benefits.

In fact for quite a while, the City of Johannesburg had no parking meters and this led to an increase of motorists hoarding parking spots for long hours and in some cases, preventing business from receiving more motorists coming to support their businesses. This has always been a concern for the City and hence the introduction of a managed paid meter system.

A well-managed parking system tends to encourage visitors to business nodes because of available parking space relatively close to the place customers wish to visit. This also provides a constant flow of customers and hourly paid parking tends to increase the number of customers. .

This has certainly being observed in Braamfontein and business owners have reported increased trade because of availability of on-street parking space and better traffic flow. The city's revitalisation programme has also received positive response from business due to increased metro police presence who are always on standby to support the parking marshals or wardens in the execution of their duty.

Although legal obligation was met to establish this system, views of the public (including the Parkhurst Community) can still be taken into account even at this stage. Where possible these views will be integrated to our paid parking system.

We welcome positive comments from communities in Rosebank who have been quoted in the media as saying they support paid parking but wish to make further input on which other areas this programme should be concentrated.

These comments are welcomed and we believe many areas including Parkhurst, the city can intensify its engagements with the community to make the programme to be beneficial to all concerned. Working together with Ward Councilors whose key responsibility is to keep residents informed with plans and developments of the city, more can be achieved in this regard.

The City is therefore inviting residents to assist in making the system to work rather than view it as a punitive measure or disruption to business. This is why the city wants continued engagement with residents and other stakeholders on how best this system can be made to benefit all stakeholders.

Paid parking will be rolled out to all business nodes as has been the case in previous years to ensure uniformity of traffic management in the City as stated in our bylaws.

Affected Areas for parking:

Braamfontein,  Parkhurst, Rosebank, Roodepoort CBD, Johannesburg CBD, Sandton, Corlett Drive, Brixton, Emmarentia, Birnam, Melville, Florida, Norwood, Fordsburg, Parkview, Greenside, Linden, Rivonia, Craighall Park and Northcliff.

Statement issued by Gabu Tugwana, Group Communications Director, City of Johannesburg, May 10 2012

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