PARKING PRICES IRK DRIVERS
By: Lindokuhle Ndaba
Drivers across the province are getting fed up with having to pay for parking spaces that were once free and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It has now become increasingly taxing on the consumers pocket to do simple tasks such as buying groceries or watching movies with friends.
One has to not only consider money for a movie, popcorn and dinner anymore: an extra R10 to R12 needs to be budgeted in order to be allowed to leave the venue which you chose to enjoy leisure time in.
According to Patrick Mthembu, who is a car-guard at the Pavilion Shopping Centre, their lives have been made much more difficult with the introduction of boom-gates in all parking spaces.“We get a very low basic salary so most of our income comes from the tips that we receive. Many people that used to give us tips have stopped doing so because they say that they used the money to pay for the boom-gates,” said Mthembu.
People have learnt to adapt to the current parking systems by utilizing the allocated free times to their advantage.
Some have a 30 minute grace period and others 15 minutes which apparently is a standard across the country, but Durban Station’s Interpark has now begun charging vehicles from the moment that they enter their boom-gates.
This has sparked outrage as some use the facilities for no more than 5 minutes.
“I drop and fetch my daughter here every two weeks and have had no problem with leaving before 15 minutes, but now they have just changed the rules without even warning us and we have to pay R15 just for entering the parking lot- it is unfair,” said Alfios Nkosi after learning that he had to pay regardless of how long he spent in the parking lot.
When the management of Interpark was questioned on their reason for the removal of their 15 minute grace period they attached it to the heavy flow of traffic in the parking lots and the chaos it caused.