Byo will reap benefits from the new vehicle parking system: Contractor

Tendy Three Investments (Pty) Ltd, the company contracted to manage Bulawayo’s vehicle parking system, has urged residents to embrace the project which is expected to decongest the CBD, create 400 jobs and generate revenue for the city.

Tendy Three said Bulawayo can earn approximately between US$1.1 million and US$1.5 million in revenue, which can be used to rehabilitate the city’s poor road network.

The full implementation of the parking system will run from 3rd Avenue to 15th Avenue and from Lobengula Street to Samuel Parirenyatwa Street.

However, at its first partial stage, the system will run from Leopold Takawira to 11th Avenue between Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and Fife Street where roadworks are expected for the installation of the parking bays.

Indications are that motorists will pay US$1 for an hour’s parking in the CBD while costs will differ with the locations and zones at which residents can pay using cash, mobile money or debit transactions.

Bulawayo’s vehicle parking management system project is a public private partnership initiative earmarked to run for a period of six years with an option to be extended for a further four years.

Cabinet approved the US$2.2 million investment between Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and Tendy Three in August this year

Addressing residents at a stakeholders meeting on the parking project at the Large City Hall Friday, Tendy Three’s Operations Manager, Lizwe Mabuza, said this system was not new as similar initiatives were done in Harare and Gweru.

“Gweru started theirs two months back and our risk profile is not much different. Bulawayo has a similar risk profile with Harare, so if it can happen in Harare surely it can happen here. Let’s welcome and support it as much as possible,” he said.

Mabuza said all the project benefits will come to Bulawayo.

“We expect a full roll out of 400 people who will be employed, making us the second largest employer after BCC. Revenues will be coming into the city, as for estimates, we are not expecting anything less than US$1.1 million to US$1.5 million coming on an annual basis, if the project is rolled out to expectation,” said the operations official.

“Over and above parking management, the project purports to enhance surveillance in the city through installation of closed circuit television system (CCTV).”

He added that Tendy Three would only employ locals and would not import labour.

“We may come with certain skills from South Africa but these are specialised skills. We are not going to import manual labour into the country or from other provinces. All parking marshals will come from the city and BCC has given us guidelines on how to navigate,” Mabuza said.

Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube, said with regards to employment, “they made no apology” that locals must come first.

“As Council, we will help identify Bulawayo residents,” he said, noting a needs assessment for a parking system had been done.

“We did feasibility studies and when we advertised for expressions, we were looking for a partner who would cover our areas of weakness. It is clear the funds will be ring-fenced for roads and development, as money collected will be channelled towards road rehabilitation and maintenance.”

In terms of sustainability of the project, the town clerk said BCC would be ready to take over the operations.

“There’s no way we will fail to do any plans to take over, as this will be after six or 10 years,” Dube noted.

“As Council we must fix those roads, which may slow implementation of the parking system. They can’t put a system on sand while the residents have said you can’t pay for parking on a pothole,” he said, highlighting sentiments from residents.

“Obviously some places will be more expensive per hour, especially those with more movement such as banks. If going towards the end of town, it will be cheaper. The purpose of this is decongestion and for those who want to park in the CDB, the price is higher. If you buy space and are not there, you will forfeit money; those are regulations and it can’t change.”

The town clerk noted that BCC and Tendy Three were yet to conclude on the contract and as such stakeholder engagements helped iron out issues.

“Now we don’t have a contract that can be signed anytime from today. We will sit and discuss all these issues that you have raised as well as those from committees,” Dube said.

BCC Project manager, Vusisizwe Joseph Sibanda, noted the parking arrangement project was referred to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) for affirmation and for Cabinet authorisation, which was granted.

“Granting by the Cabinet came with a condition that gave the parties 45 days to have concluded on the contractual obligations,” he said.

According to Sibanda, Bulawayo has a total of 7 200 parking bays and an estimated vehicle population of around 200 000.

“We are currently operating a semi computerised parking management system where motorists purchase computer recorded parking discs from Revenue Hall and display them on vehicle windscreens,” he said.

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