Cape Town - Businesses who have been bleeding from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have urged the City to speed up its plans to improve parking to boost the economy.
The City has estimated that it lost as much as R7.3 million in revenue from parking in the metro but also noted the tough economic climate due to the pandemic.
Two weeks ago it announced that it was putting on hold the much-anticipated parking reduction strategy because it did not follow due process and also has yet to renew its parking marshal programme.
The Claremont Improvement District Company said businesses and on-street parking operators have been feeling the pinch.
“Many off-street parking operators are now without jobs while businesses also felt the impact as off-street parking is hogged by some people all day. We are hoping that we will have the service back by November,” executive manager Abdul Kerbelker said.
He said now that the city was headed for warmer weather business was expected to pick up again and managed parking was essential.
“Already high-street shopping is gaining momentum. The idea of off-street parking is rotational for quick business and needs to be managed. We need it back to create jobs too," said Kerbelker.
Businesses in the Cape Town Central Business District were also affected.
Tasso Evangelinos, chief executive of Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) said there had been “very little” on-street parking for customers as by and large office workers used the parking bays from “as early as 7am and leave around 4 pm”.
The City has promised that it would resume the on-street parking operations by November, “if all goes well”.
The service would be restored in the CBD, Sea Point, Claremont, Newlands and Bellville.
Mayco member for Transport Rob Quintas said a new service provider was expected to be appointed by the end of this month but the management of parking would only start at the end of November.
“If there are no unforeseen challenges or delays, parking marshals should be on duty in these areas before the festive season starts,” said Quintas .
However, developers might wait a little longer before issues related to the parking reduction strategy are resolved.
The City said it was advised that it would need to conduct a “proper” public participation process because it had not published the draft PT1 and PT2 parking zone maps.
The PT1 and PT2 parking reduction strategy encouraged developers to reduce parking in developments close to a public transport system.
Traffic Engineer from EFG Engineers David Faure said the City’s decision would result in delays in development and urged the City to undertake the public participation process as soon as possible.
He said the City should look into measures to fast-track and support development to minimise the impact of the delays.
The Western Cape Property Development Forum said the City’s decision would have a knock-on effect on developers.
Forum chairperson Deon van Zyl said certain developments would no longer be feasible and presales agreements with potential buyers might fall away due to delays and timing-out contracts.
Van Zyl said: “Even those developments able to survive this will still need to have building plans already submitted sent back to the drawing board with associated costs and delays.”
Mayco member for Urban Planning and Management, Marian Nieuwoudt told the Weekend Argus last week that the public participation process was expected to start not later than January/February 2022.