The City of Cape Town will soon publish a draft map demarcating the reduced off-street parking requirements for developments in areas with good access to the MyCiTi service, minibus-taxis, trains and the Golden Arrow Bus Service. The draft map will be available for public comment once the Portfolio Committee on Spatial Planning and Environment has granted the City approval to proceed with the public participation process which will include an amendment to Annexure C of the Development Management Scheme, Schedule 3 of the Municipal Planning By-law.

The map, to be published for public participation, will include the demarcations of the Public Transport areas 1 and 2 (PT1 and PT2 areas), based on comprehensive data about the use of the MyCiTi feeder and express services, GABS, trains and minibus-taxis.

The City’s Development Management Scheme (DMS) stipulates the minimum requirements for off-street parking for new developments. The DMS differentiates between areas that are well served by public transport services, and those where residents rely on their private vehicles and thus would need off-street parking.

The draft map will take into account the impact of scheduled and high quality public transport on reducing private vehicle use and the subsequent lower demand for parking in areas that are served by these trunk and feeder services, be it a bus, train, or minibus-taxi.

This is in line with the City’s objective to address residents’ reliance on private vehicles and to adopt policies that will promote transit-oriented development and walking and cycling short distances, and to improve the efficiency of public transport services.

By lowering off-street parking requirements, the City can also free up valuable space for development. Thus, instead of providing off-street parking bays, developers can opt to use the space for more productive uses.

Reduced parking requirements significantly reduce red tape if a new development is located in the Public Transport area 1 or 2 (PT1 or PT2 areas) as the property automatically qualifies for lower parking requirements as stipulated in the zoning scheme. For developments that fall outside of these areas, the standard off-street parking requirements apply and a departure application, in addition to the land use/building application, is required when a developer wants reduced off-street parking.

  • PT2 areas have more generous reductions in parking requirements than PT1 areas.
  • PT1 is an area where the use of public transport is promoted, or where the use of private vehicles is limited.
  • PT2 is an area where the provision of public transport services is good, or where the use of private vehicles is very limited.

In determining the PT1 and PT2 areas the City’s Transport Directorate conducted an analysis of the following:

  • availability of public transport or areas in which public transport improvements are promoted;
  • existing operational quality of public transport in terms of frequency and capacity;
  • data on the daily commuter numbers recorded for the MyCiTi bus service, minibus-taxis and GABS; and
  • the level of service experienced

‘It is important to state upfront that a reduction in off-street parking is not compulsory. Developers and landowners have a choice and can decide how they want to cater for the needs in a particular development and whether their clients would prefer off-street parking or not. I also want to alert residents and the planning fraternity to the fact that the map will be available for public comment in due course. I encourage them to please submit their comments once this process has commenced,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

‘We also want to encourage the development and business fraternity to think differently about how parking can be provided and how to use parking areas optimally. For example, there is no reason why city dwellers cannot park at a shopping centre overnight, while this space is standing empty. It is very possible to explore agreements and to think out of the box so that we can make Cape Town more efficient in terms of how we commute and use space,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Rob Quintas.

The City intends to publish the map and the proposed amendment to Annexure C of the DMS for public comment once the necessary permission has been obtained.

The standard off-street parking requirements as stipulated in the DMS will apply for development applications until the above process has been concluded.