Parking meters: ‘going ahead, but with sensitivity’

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The Hibiscus Coast Municipal Executive Committee has approved the implementation of the new parking meter system as from 1 November.  The Exco noted that a public consultation process had been followed, although DA Councillor Dave Watson expressed misgivings about the effectiveness of the process. He would have liked a more extensive effort to get input from stakeholders because of the resistance in certain areas to the installation of these meters.  As an example he mentioned the CBD of Port Shepstone, where there is a general acceptance of the meters, but where there are also business owners who are against anti the meters.   Cllr Watson asked why it had not been ascertained why certain businesses, who should be offering their clients parking on their premises, had not done so. He also pointed out that the whole process was based on 40-year-old by-laws, and urged the municipality to modernise in this regard. Municipal Manager Max Mbili said the HCM noted the comments and input from the various stakeholders and councillors, and would be extremely circumspect when introducing the system.  As an example he mentioned that although the installation would begin in Port Shepstone, the area around the hospital would be initially excluded until a solution had been found to solve the unique circumstances prevailing there.   Other issues of concern in other areas, such as the Margate CBD, would also be looked at, and the total project would not be implemented before these matters had been sorted out.  A continuing process to address the outstanding issues of concern would be followed.   A senior municipal official told eHowzit “we are going ahead, but with sensitivity.” The new parking management system will provide the HCM with revenue of not less than R10.3-million over a period of three years, which the municpality has pledged to use for the upgrading and repair of roads.

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