Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Harare City Council and its parking entity, City Parking, this week started consulting motorists parking in the city centre on new street parking fees after the rejection of a proposed US$1 an hour.
The consultations with motorists end today. Council on July 2 imposed in the morning, but reversed in the afternoon, a US$1 an hour charge, promising to do wider consultations that would see motorists paying fees that are rational and cost-effective.
Speaking during the consultations in the city centre, Harare City Council principal communications officer Mr Innocent Ruwende said after the consultations, council and City Parking will review the feedback from drivers.
“We are consulting so that we come up with a price that is agreeable, that is conducive to the current economic situation because we realised that the US$1 that people were complaining about is because not all of them are earning forex,” he said. “So, I am sure after this process we would come up with an agreeable price since we have to balance issues. City Parking is a company which must survive. It has workers and it also contributes revenue to council, so we have to balance everything.”
City Parking public relations manager Mr Francis Mandaza said as the council promised to do due diligence and due consultations with customers, City Parking staff were on the ground for two days.
“We are on the streets and asking our customers their views about tariff review,” he said.
“So, we have sent out representatives on the streets to hear what motorists think about our tariff in the CBD. This is against the background of the notice that we had issued last week where we had proposed a tariff review of US$1 or equivalent, but motorists expressed resentment towards that kind of tariff structure.”
Mr Mandaza emphasised that street parking was meant for customers and clients for businesses in the city centre, not for those who work in the city centre who are expected to use parkades and parking lots.
Parking charges were lower in parkades and carparks compared to street charges.
“On the streets, we want to free up parking bays and make sure we park and pave way for others to park so that there is smooth flow of business,” said Mr Mandaza.