Cape Town Withdraws Terrible Parking Plan

Recently, the city of Cape Town came pretty close to replacing it's terrible parking plan with an even more terrible parking plan. Thankfully, the mayoral committee quickly came to their senses. Let's take a look.
Jason Snyman
2018-08-12

The city of Cape Town has gone and gotten itself into trouble again. No, it’s not the water situation – nor is it the De Lille situation. This time, the citizens were up in arms about an equally important issue. Parking. More specifically, the ridiculous price of parking in the Mother City.

Paying for kerbside parking is already a huge pet peeve of all Capetonians. Now, the city wanted to increase those kerbside parking fees in the CBD to as much as R400 per day. Ludicrous.

Realising the grievous mistake they’d made, the mayoral committee quickly backtracked and withdrew the planned proposal.
 

We need more time to look at this plan. This has not had the agenda discussions, we need a thorough discussion and presentation on this before it goes further. We simply have to discuss the more,” said Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson.

Let’s take a look at what all the fuss is about. 

CT’s Proposed Increase In Parking Price

Essentially, the city wanted to adopt a proposed parking management plan – which intended to raise the rates for those who park for longer hours. So, those forced to park kerbside in order to get to work for the day would be hit the hardest.

Supposedly, those parking for less than two hours would still be paying the same rates. Those parking for over two hours, though, would pay far, far more. 

The motive behind this plan, they said, was to ease congestion. Heavy congestion currently costs Cape Town around R2.8 billion per year in economic performance losses. 

The desired outcome was to dissuade motorists from using their cars and instead, encourage them to use public transport. Another motive was to reduce the time motorists spend circling the block in search of parking, because theoretically, the more expensive the parking is the less people will want to use it and the greater the availability will be. 

If it had been approved by council, the plan would have be implemented about a year from the beginning of the new financial year. As a contractual cost-based model, the plan was to be managed by parking management service providers, and then be paid over to the City on a daily basis.

As stipulated in the report:

 

The City will pay the service provider a tendered amount per month, adjusted for penalties and incentives. The City plans to award a contract to a single service provider for 8-and-a-half years for this purpose.

Parking Prices Are Already Ridiculous

As it currently stands, the city has marked certain areas with the letters A or B. Parking in these areas for longer than two hours could often result in a fine of R450. This is to discourage people from hogging all the parking all day. 

With the new plan – and subsequently, the new tariffs – motorists parking in these areas would no longer be issued a fine for exceeding two hours. Instead, those parking for longer than two hours would be charged more.

‘A’ areas include business hubs and popular tourist locations:

  • Camps Bay
  • CBD
  • Claremont
  • Rondebosch
  • Seapoint
  • Tygervalley
  • Woodstock

An eight-hour park in these areas would cost you well over R400. As it stands, visitors to these areas pay R130 for eight hours.

‘B’ areas around the city of Cape Town include:

  • Bellville 
  • Durbanville
  • Kalk Bay
  • Muizenberg
  • Observatory
  • Parow
  • Somerset West
  • Strand
  • Tableview
  • Wynberg

An eight-hour park in these areas costs under R100 at the moment – excluding the R450 fine. With the new plan, motorists would pay around R300 for an eight-hour park.
 

Instant Backlash

Consumer groups and opposition parties were quick to voice their opinions about the proposed plan, and they weren’t happy. OUTA’s spokesperson on local government, Michael Holenstein, said:  

It is unaffordable given all the other increases that have shaken consumers’ wallets. To reduce congestion we need to fix public transport. We can’t increase prices. But because the public transport is already bad, we see people taking their cars

According to the president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Janine Myburgh, the city of Cape Town has executive directors who earn millions every year. Myburgh stated that “we have a right to expect better solutions to problems, and not just knee-jerk tariff increases”.

The ANC’s spokesperson on finance, Carol Beerwinkel, said:
 

I don’t see how the city can expect this plan to work if there is an ailing public transport system. There is taxi violence, bus services are also limited and volatile, while the rail system is struggling to keep up with the demands. Even if public transport is fixed, this plan would be unaffordable.

What the city of Cape Town decides to do next remains to be seen.