Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
City Parking, a private company owned by the Harare City Council that is mandated to manage parking in the CBD, is considering hiking parking fees, The Herald has learnt.
A source within the firm said City Parking management had not yet agreed on a figure.
“For some time now there has been debate on whether parking fees should go up or not because the current charges have been impacting on cost of operations.
“The $2 per hour was hit by inflation and the interbank rate. They are likely to reach an agreement on a new fee by end of next week,” said the source.
A fortnight ago there were rumours circulating on social media that the company had increased parking fees from $2 to $9 per hour which were, however, quashed by officials.
City Parking has been remitting 16 percent of the revenue it collects monthly to council since May this year.
When contacted for comment, City Parking public relations manager Mr Mandaza said he was not at liberty to discuss a matter which was being deliberated on.
“Of course, the company is considering reviewing parking fees but I cannot say anything more because the issue has not been finalised yet,” he said.
Mr Mandaza, however, said currently the company was struggling to meet its operational costs.
“Our current $2 per hour charge translates to about US$0,20, it means that parking in Harare is now the cheapest in the region.
“With such an amount it has now become difficult to meet our statutory obligations and operating costs because the value of that amount was eroded by inflation way back.
“Prices for most goods and services have increased by over 800 percent and for us to remain stagnant it means we will soon be counting our losses and facing closure,” he said.
Mr Mandaza also confirmed that his company had been able to meet its monthly obligation of submitting 16 percent of the revenue they collect monthly to the City of Harare which amounts to about $200 000. This dividend is expected to cushion council and augment its revenue streams.
The proposed hike in parking fees comes at a time motorists are already sweating over the 1 000 percent increase in clamping and towing fees which takes effect on August 1.