‘KNEE-JERK SOLUTION’: Street Parking Solutions marshals work in the city centre. The City has proposed an increase in kerbside parking tariffs to combat congestion. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has been on the receiving end of a backlash by consumer groups and opposition parties for a plan to increase kerbside parking fees in the CBD to as much as R400 a day.

A new parking management plan the City wants council to adopt makes provision for those who want to park for longer hours at higher rates, reduce congestion in the City centre and bring about behavioural change.

Michael Holenstein, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) spokesperson on local government, 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.”

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Janine Myburgh said the City had executive directors who earned millions a year and that “we have a right to expect better solutions to problems and not just knee-jerk tariff increases”.

The plan is scheduled to be discussed at tomorrow’s mayoral committee meeting and if approved by council will come into effect on July 1, 2019, the start of the 2019/2020 financial year.

The proposal will see motorists who park for under two hours pay no more than at present. At present, parking longer than two hours is prohibited and a fine of R450 is payable.

Carol Beerwinkel, ANC spokesperson on finance 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.”

According to council reports and recommendations, undersigned by Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for urban development and transport, the plan is aimed at improving turnaround of parking bays to improve availability of bays.

The parking plan also suggests that increasing congestion has decreased the economic performance of the city.

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Cape Argus