The City of Cape Town’s Council approved the revised Parking Policy earlier today, 3 December 2020. The revised policy addresses the provision, management, regulation, enforcement, and pricing of parking.

The policy applies to on-street parking and off-street parking, as well as park-and-ride facilities, loading bays, bus bays, parking permits, reserved parking, and parking for bicycles, and motorbikes; and addresses the provision for e-hailing services. This includes all aspects related to parking, whether it is provided by the private or public sector.

The revised Parking Policy replaces the policy that stemmed from 2014, and sets the scene for the City to adapt to new technologies and services. For example, over the past decade we have seen the emergence of new transport modes such as e-hailing and electric vehicles.

‘E-hailing is now an integral part of Cape Town’s public transport offering. The policy prescribes the provision of convenient drop-and-go bays in business areas and at private developments for lift clubs, e-hailing cars, or e-hailing delivery motorbikes. It also promotes parking incentives for more sustainable modes of transport such as bicycles, and motorbikes, and addresses new generation mobility such as electric vehicles.

‘We also want to implement cashless payments for municipal parking, which will make it more convenient for motorists and safer for those who will be managing the parking bays. Given that urban sustainability and resilience are now key to the City’s policies, the revised Parking Policy recognises the need to promote parking that is friendly to the environment in how it is designed and managed, while at the same time reducing congestion,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.

In terms of on-street parking, the revised policy is pursuing the following: 

  • easier access to on-street parking within central business districts for those who want to park for a short period, including tour buses 
  • easier access to designated on-street parking for people with special needs, such as those in wheelchairs 
  • investigate a possible discount for those who park for less than 10 or 15 minutes 
  • easier access to designated on-street parking bays for delivery vehicles
  • to support economic activity in central business areas by increasing the turnover of parking bays for customers and delivery vehicles 
  • to encourage short-stay parking within the core of the CBD and longer stay parking on the periphery of the CBD during business hours
  • payment through a cashless system by using smart cards or mobile phones to improve convenience and accounting 
  • for minor parking transgressions to be administered by the contractor who will be contracted to manage on-street parking bays on behalf of the City; and
  • to develop a rationale for the expansion or removal of managed on-street parking as and when needed

‘Further, the policy requires the City to investigate the use of technology to record violations and issue penalties. This is very important as we find that private vehicle owners often park in bays designated for loading vehicles and people with special needs, or that they do not adhere to time limits, or flatly refuse to pay for parking,’ said Alderman Purchase.

The policy also proposes new guidelines for parking tariffs: 

  • it makes provision for different parking zones to be demarcated, and for parking tariffs to differ accordingly 
  • different tariffs could apply for different times of day, and in high demand recreation areas, over weekends and on public holidays, depending on the outcome of a cost-analysis; and 
  • given that motorbikes require less parking space the tariff for using an on-street bay should be lower

All off-street parking in the Cape Town CBD alone occupies more than 1,1 km².

‘It is very costly for developers to provide parking as parking surfaces take up precious land that could have been developed. The increased cost in providing parking is ultimately passed on to the buyer or tenant, which reduces the affordability of the units. Parking areas should also support the protection of precious resources such as water, and our environment. The revised policy addresses these issues by proposing the City implements flexible and targeted requirements for the provision of parking bays in future,’ said Alderman Purchase.

Ultimately, the policy intends to:

  • support economic activity by ensuring customers and delivery vehicles can find on-street parking 
  • influence when and how commuters travel – with public transport, bicycle, motorbike, or private vehicle; and 
  • free up valuable land for development.

A data-driven tender will also enable the City to respond timeously to changing environments and circumstances and to adapt managed parking accordingly.