Four months after the implementation of new higher parking tariff increases, Stellenbosch Municipality is considering lowering them to the pre-increase levels, but still make millions for the council’s purse.
In a proposal, to be discussed at a special council meeting called for tomorrow, the municipality’s chief financial officer, Kevin Carolus, estimates that the parking fee revenue, based on the proposed adjusted tariffs, will be R9.3million, substantially more than the budgeted revenue of just over R4million for the year.
The current 2019/2020 parking tariffs were approved at the May 2019 council meeting but the plan to lower the tariff comes after complaints from members of the public and residents of Stellenbosch, that the CBD had become inaccessible because of the high cost of parking. The reduced parking tariffs will be in line with the previous financial year’s (2018/2019) parking tariffs.
Before the upward adjustment, the first half hour of parking was free, rising to R10 if a motorist parked for an hour, R20 for up to two hours and then going up by R5 for each hour up to nine hours. Parking for nine to 12 hours cost motorists R110, while 12 to 24 hours cost R150, and R1000 for a monthly permit.
Under the current tariffs, the costs are R12 for the first hour, R22 for two hours, R28 for three hours and then R10 increments for every hour, up to seven hours. Parking for eight hours will set a motorist back R83 while nine hours of parking costs R87 - rising to R125 for between nine and 12 hours in a parking space, R180 for 12 to 24 hours, and R1200 for a monthly permit.
While the Municipal Finance Management Act says municipal tax and tariffs cannot be increased in a financial year, unless required to do so in terms of a financial recovery plan, the Act is silent on a reduction of tariffs.
All the technical departments involved in the proposed change, including Infrastructure Services, Planning and Economic Development, Community and Protection Services, Strategic and Corporate Services, and the office of the municipal manager, are in agreement with the proposals compiled by the chief financial officer.
Meanwhile, the municipality and the appointed service provider, Street Parking Solutions, are in the process of installing infrastructure for automated systems, at on-street and off-street parking areas. The installation of booms at the Eikestad and Checkers parking areas, in the CBD, have been identified as a priority. The chief financial officer’s proposal says: “Weather permitting, the automated systems at these two parking areas will be operational by the end of August.”@MwangiGithahu