City did not communicate on paid parking: councillor
The rollout of a paid parking system in Johannesburg was not communicated to ward councillors at all, a councillor said on Wednesday.
"This is very typical of the city's communication procedure. We are never notified in good time. In this case, as far as I know, no ward councillor was ever notified," said Ward 117 councillor, Tim Truluck.
Earlier on Wednesday, the municipality said it met the required legal obligations when it established a paid parking system.
"We issued notes to the public and businesses," Pieter de Klerk, the city's legal representative, told reporters.
"In Parkhurst, questions were raised if it [public consultation] was sufficient. We thought it was sufficient, but the community wanted more engagement," he said.
Truluck said the city's communication regarding paid parking had been extremely poor.
"In some cases, I think the fact that we are DA councillors is part of the problem.
"We often find ANC councillors know about things and we don't. It's remarkable that the suburban areas where rollout is taking place are DA wards," said Truluck.
He said if the city had rolled the project out in "more suitable" areas first, the municipality would have been able to learn from the experience.
"In Rosebank's case, if rolled out properly, I do support it. In Parkhurst, as it stands now, I do not."
Truluck objected to there having been little public consultation, and believed the Johannesburg metro police were not the correct people to oversee the scheme.
"If they can't do it in Parkhurst over two months, I don't see how they can implement this city-wide."
Parkhurst Village Residents' Association chairwoman Cheryl Labuschagne "vehemently" disagreed with the city's assertion that residents had been communicated with before the project's rollout.
"There was no communication with our previous councillor Sharon Sabbagh. The contract was signed in 2009. There have been no communications whatsoever," she said.
Residents received notice of paid parking only the day before its implementation on January 5, she said.
"I have not heard a positive comment about it at all. In fact, people in Braamfontein have expressed huge reservations. In Parkhurst, there have been no positive comments that I've been aware of," said Labuschagne.
After welcoming submissions, the city had taken about six weeks to reply to the association's submission when the project was first rolled out.
The submission was turned down because "they had already entered into a contract," said Labuschagne.
The areas targeted for the paid parking system are: Braamfontein, Parkhurst, Rosebank, Roodepoort CBD, Sandton, Corlett Drive, Brixton, Emmarentia, Birnam, Melville, Florida, Norwood, Fordsburg, Parkview, Greenside, Craighall Park, Northcliff, Rivonia and Linden.
At the moment, tariffs are set at R8 an hour and R4 for 30 minutes.
No less than 74.8% of the revenue will go to service provider Ace Parking, and 25.2% to the City of Johannesburg. Money generated from fines will go directly to the City.
The system is scheduled to be introduced in most areas in June.