In what appeared to be an effort to prevent an e-toll-scale revolt on the streets of Johannesburg, the City of Johannesburg yesterday asked for proposals from residents on how its kerbside parking scheme could be implemented.
There has been an outcry over a lack of consultation prior to the implementation of a scheme to charge motorists for parking on city and suburban streets. Gauteng’s highway e-toll scheme was interdicted from launching, and a lack of consultation about its costs to motorists was one issue raised in court.
City of Joburg spokesman Gabu Tugwana said at a media briefing yesterday that while the metro council had met its legal obligations in establishing the paid parking system, the views of the public could still be taken into account.
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"Where possible, these views will be integrated into our paid parking system," Mr Tugwana said. However, a major problem for the city was that if the implementation of the scheme was halted by a court, the city would likely face a lawsuit from Ace Parking, the company contracted to manage it.
Parkhurst residents filed a Promotion of Access to Information Act application in March, seeking documents relating to the contract.
Mr Tugwana said some communities had responded "positively" to the kerbside parking system.
The city’s legal representative, Pieter de Klerk, said there was no legally prescribed requirement on how consultation should be conducted. "It is a discretionary process," he told the briefing.
The average parking fee is R5,57 an hour in municipalities where Ace Parking has similar contracts, but Johannesburg residents are expected to pay R8 an hour.
Mr de Klerk said local authorities operated differently. He said the tariff was decided by the Johannesburg metropolitan police department. "Every department proposes a tariff for the services that it provides, which is in terms of the general guidelines provided by Treasury."
Metro police chief Chris Ngcobo said sites identified for paid parking included business nodes and areas with high traffic volumes. "We are happy, more than before, to engage with the communities," he said.