‘Parking fees should be negotiated’

Tendy Three Investments (TTI) should be able to negotiate parking costs with motorists, because the company, which claims local origins, has to comprehend the economic circumstances of locals.

This call by traditional leader royal Prince Peter Zwide Khumalo follows reports of a planned week-long protest over excessive parking fees.

Motorists are currently paying US$1 per hour, which they regard as excessive, particularly for those who work in the Central Business District (CBD), who end up paying US$8 per day.

TTI subsequently introduced packages that they said offered significant savings over the current pay-as-you-go method, with the Silver plan costing US$30 per week, the Gold package costing US$60 per fortnight, and the Platinum package costing US$90 per month.

However, motorists complained that it was still too expensive, causing the Bulawayo Business Development Association (BBDA) to declare a parking boycott in the CBD.

Speaking to journalists over the weekend, Bulawayo stakeholders stated that parking rates are a negotiable issue that TTI may discuss with concerned motorists.

“One thing the new system has done is to reduce congestion and it has reduced thefts from parked vehicles. Other issues relating to the cost burden to car owners who use the system and the impact it has on business are negotiable elements,” said Khumalo.

Khumalo noted they were aware of a flier circulating encouraging a boycott of the parking system and payment for the specified period.

“Specifying boycott of parking and payment for parking seems to be one of the actions but the stakeholders are here to be aware part of the existence of the problem and I’m sure they have a way of looking at the problem,” he said.

The traditional leader said since TTI is owned by a Zimbabwean, someone born in Matabeleland and of Ndebele descent, it should be easier to negotiate conditions rather than call for a general boycott because this was a contract struck by municipal officials.

“The second thing is there are companies that had also gone to tender for that parking system, who did not succeed because only one can win. Then when we talk of flyers that are encouraging boycotts, we need first and foremost to know who is actually driving that,” Khumalo stated.

“Fine the parking system has elements that are not negotiable. It also has elements that are negotiable, which are the prices, timing and so on that can be negotiated. But the point is, if someone is standing up to say boycott a system that has gone through council, which is our official organ they have made people win a tender and others not win, then we need first of all before we can act in response to that particular flier to say who is behind that. We might find and I’m not saying, it’s just a bad potato.”

Meanwhile, TTI embarked on a cooperative social responsibility mission on Saturday, adopting Entembeni Geriatric Old People’s Home by providing diapers, cleaning detergents, and food worth over US$4 000 (ZWL$5 million) to meet their requirements.

TTI chairperson, Lizwe Mabuza stated the move will encourage other Bulawayo stakeholders to help those in need.

“We acknowledge the path that our elders have walked and we realise that a hand that gives is blessed. Through this donation, we ask for your prayers so that we as young people may continue prospering in our endeavours. As TTI we are not doing this for the first time but understand the importance of giving back to our communities,” he said.

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