Reports coming from Bulawayo suggest that many parking bays are empty as motorists are avoiding parking in the Central Business District following a hike of parking fees by the local government authority.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s 2022 Budget was recently approved by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo and is effective from February.
The central government had initially rejected Bulawayo City Council’s ZWL$23 billion budget for 2022 on grounds that it allocated a massive 44% of the total budget on salaries, a figure which exceeds the recommended limit of 30%.
BCC and the contractor — Tendy Three Investments (TTI) — which won the tender to install the parking management system in the city, are charging US$1 for 30 minutes, for “prime parking.”
For “ordinary parking,” motorists will pay US$1 for an hour.
The new fees are effective from today, Friday 18 February. According to the local authority, the project is being implemented in phases.
Phase 1 will cater for the prime parking in the city set to cover Leopold Takawira Avenue to 11th Avenue and Fife Street to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street.
The second phase to the sixth phase will be an expansion from the area covered by the first phase until the whole city is encompassed. Once complete, there would be 7 200 parking bays in the city under the system. On Friday, they will commence with 174 parking bays.
The fees attracted a public outcry but the local authority’s corporate communications manager, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu recently told The Sunday News that all the necessary consultations had been done in coming up with the fees.