By Bulawayo Correspondent
OPPOSITION Zapu is mooting demonstrations against the Bulawayo city council’s exorbitant parking fees.
This follows the local authority’s failure to respond to a petition by the party demanding an immediate reduction of the parking fees currently pegged at US$1 per hour.
South African company Tendy Three won the parking management tender for Bulawayo.
Despite the fees having been reduced from the initial US$1 for 30 minutes of parking as a result of a public outcry, Zapu still maintains they are still unaffordable.
Zapu secretary general Mthulisi Hanana said council’s decision to ignore their petition had left them no other option but to protest.
“In our meeting with the officer commanding Bulawayo held at Southampton building on the March 18, 2022 and attended by different stakeholders including the city council, we agreed that if we are not satisfied with the outcome of the petition, we will have no choice but to stage a people’s protest at city hall,” said Hanana.
“As such, we are mobilising the residents of Bulawayo for a people’s protest at city hall at a date to be advised.
“We now have one demand, that city council suspends operations of Trendy Three until the people concerns are attended to. We have a collective duty as Bulawayo residents to defend our city.”
Motorists have been avoiding parking their vehicles in the central business district since introduction of the parking system February as a result of the charges.
The new parking system has also affected businesses located within the central business district resulting in residents through the Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) petitioning council over the same issue.
The parking management system is being rolled out in phases with phase 1 which covers Leopold Takawira street to 11th avenue and Fife Street being the first to be implemented.
The second phase to the sixth phase will be an expansion from the area covered by the first phase.
The parking management project is being implemented under the Build, Operate and Transfer (bot) framework, where Tendy Three Investments (Pvt) LTD designs, installs and maintains the parking system using its own resources for an initial six year period with the option of an extension of up to four years.
Thereafter the project will be transferred for a permanent takeover to the city council.