City Parking loses $1,5m annually — official

By Innocent Ruwende

Government offices within the central business district (CBD), vending and mushika-shika among other factors have taken over about 1 200 bays for free use in the CBD costing city’s parking unit, City Parking of over $1,5 million revenue annually.

This image shows vendors selling an assortment of fruits and vegetables on pavements and road islands in Harare, rendering roads virtually impassable. The vendors have also been accused of blocking parking space, prejudicing City Parking of revenue

City Parking general manager Mr Simon Muzviyo said his company’s operating environment continues to shrink as a result.

“Due to economic hardships, vendors, street people, commuter omnibuses, mushika-shika operators have all descended on the CBD and compete for operational space with City Parking. To compound the problem, Government offices within the CBD have taken over about 800 bays for free use in the CBD,” he said.

“In total, City Parking has lost 1 200 parking bays as a result of the above. This translates to $129 480 per month and $1 553 760 per year in lost revenue.”

Responding to requests by motorists for City Parking to cut clamping fees and associated penalties, Mr Muzviyo said rates charged by City Parking were regulated by council.

“The parking rates charged by City Parking are regulated by council. The tariffs have two functions. The first one is to ensure that the parking function sustains itself and the second one is to ensure that the fee for On-Street is affordable or reasonable enough for a motorist to park and transact business in the CBD within a reasonable time period and is punitive enough to dissuade the parker to park long-term in a street bay.”

“The operating principle is that on-street parking is for short-term parkers who park in order to transact business within the CBD and then leave to make way for others to also transact business.”

He said parking for long periods (three hours) in a bay, let alone eight hours per day, goes against the principles of effective CBD parking management.

“In my view the idea of incorporating City Parking to undertake the parking function on behalf of council is bearing fruit. Firstly, City Parking banished the Parking Account deficit from the first year of operation. “

He said City Parking invested in a modern parking system to do away with the manual parking disc system used by council as the disc system was porous and manipulatable.

The company, he said, also replaced the manual system at the parking lots and parkades by investing into a modern vehicle control system that incorporates the use of automated boom-gates.

“I am aware that elevators at the parkades stopped working in the early 2000s and council failed to put aside funds for their rehabilitation due to competing funding request from other sectors. We recently witnessing the rehabilitation of elevators.”

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