Bulawayo City Council Monday announced that it was reducing parking fees following public outrage over the fees that were viewed as exorbitant.
In the latest pricing model, reviewed Monday, motorists are now required to pay US$1 or the equivalent in local currency at the prevailing auction rate per hour to park in the city parking bays.
Announcing the climb-down in a statement on Friday evening, town clerk Mr Christopher Dube said:
The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public and the motoring public that with effect from Monday, 21 March 2022, the Central Business District has been designated into a single zone of 1 hour/US$1 or at equivalent bank rate through EcoCash, POS or ZWL cash. This notification cancels the 30mins US$1 zone that was in place at the core of the city.
Prior to the latest development, motorists were required to pay US$1 for the 30 minutes in the prime parking bays in Zone One, which stretches from Leopold Takawira Avenue to 11th Avenue and Fife Street to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and US$1 for an hour in the ordinary parking bays.
Motorists are criticising the local government authority for “failure” to adequately consult stakeholders before the implementation of the new parking management system in the city centre.
Residents have appealed for BCC to go back to the drawing board, engage the different actors in the city so as to come up with a more inclusive, equitable and economically reasonable parking fee that will not inhibit the economic activity of the city.
Bulawayo United Residents Association (Bura) chairman Mr Winos Dube said although the decision to reduce the parking fees is commendable, the parking charge must be reduced further to make it affordable to residents.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (Bupra) secretary for administration Mr Thembelani Dube said this climbdown by the council shows that they did not consult residents fully.
In its petition, which was handed over to the town clerk, ZAPU said BCC should adopt a hybrid system of zoning and reduce the fee to US$0.50 per hour and not more than US$5 per day.
ZAPU said there seem to be little information available to residents around the deal between BCC and TTI.
The local authority, in partnership with South African company, Tendy Three Investments (TTI), launched the parking system last month, but the move has been met with rage and resistance as motorists argued the charges were exorbitant. Some questioned the benefit of the deal to Bulawayo’s development.
Under a six-year build, operate and transfer arrangement, the local authority will receive 30 per cent of revenue, while TTI will take 70 per cent.
According to the petition, ZAPU wants BCC to, within seven days, make public the identities of other companies that competed for the same tender with TTI and how the 70/30 per cent partnership between the council and the company was arrived at.
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