HARARE city council on Monday announced a 100 percent hike in parking fees with effect from March 1, which has left many motorists bemused.
A statement from City Parking, a subsidiary of Harare City Council, said fees for the inner Central Business District will go up to 2 dollars per hour while those for the periphery will go up from the current 50c to 1 dollar per hour.
This means that motorists who were paying 8 dollars per day from Monday to Friday will now have to fork out 16 dollars a day, at a time prices of other services and goods are also going up.
A motorist who refused to identify himself said it was insane for the city to hike parking fees when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya announced recently that prices of local goods and services should not be increased as there was no foreign currency involved in their provision.
“What is the rationale behind the increase? This is madness. Salaries are not being increased yet the council believes that it has to continue milking us,” he said.
City Parking said its pre-paid system which allowed motorists to park for less time was still available.
“Our pre-paid parking cards that allow you to park and pay for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour are still available for your convenience,” it said.
The Harare CBD is usually heavily congested, especially during peak periods, and it is anticipated that the latest parking fee hike will stop more motorists from driving into the inner city without compelling reasons.
Many motorists who could not afford the current 8 dollars per day have been parking their vehicles in the Avenues area where some had come into conflict with residents there.