BULAWAYO’s business community and motorists say they will boycott parking in the central business district in protest over the new pricing system introduced by Tendy Three Investment (TTI) and the city council.
The new prepaid parking system, which will commence on June 1, will introduce weekly, fortnightly and monthly packages.
In a recent notice to motorists and stakeholders, TTI indicated that the new packages would cost US$30 weekly, translating to US$4,30 per day, US$50 per fortnight and US$90 per month.
But the business community and motorists said the proposed charges were not sustainable.
"We have reached the final lap of preparations. The boycott announcement will come from the office of the secretary-general of the Bulawayo Business Development Association," the notice put out by the Business Development Association read.
"We have covered ground in holding meetings with key stakeholders, including the police in Bulawayo. We have also taken into consideration contributions and suggestions from the various platforms where the boycott conversation has been going on.
“Firstly, we have come up with an information model to educate the public about the boycott. Secondly, we will come up with the dates for phase one of the Bulawayo parking boycott. This will give us ample time to make alternative parking and transportation plans.
“As soon as the final official update is done, please play your part in circulating the information to every platform so that we can reach everyone who is affected and is influential in bringing the parking solution to our city," the notice read.
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The business fraternity and motorists said they wanted to attract buy-in and involvement of all key stakeholders to achieve the desired results.
"This boycott should mount sufficient pressure on TTI and BCC to cause them to come to the negotiating table. The aim of the boycott is to cripple their revenue collections from the parking venture. Everyone needs to join forces and be united as we bring order to our city again. In the meantime, please continue to exercise patience," the notice said.
Bulawayo businessman and chief executive officer of Green Afrique Technologies, Anglistone Sibanda, said TTI and BCC entered into an anti-people and suspicious parking deal.
"We have always questioned the arrangement, and in such opaque deals that are driven by greed, such behaviour is often inevitable. A boycott is a good call but l would even call for something more drastic and decisive: a total overhaul of the Bulawayo City Council leadership," Sibanda said.
National Consumer Rights Association co-ordinator Effie Ncube said: "Boycotting goods and services is one way they can do this. It is another way ofspeaking. What is needed is a dialogue between residents and BCC so that they arrive at a win-win arrangement. A boycott gives authorities an opportunity to demonstrate sincerity and their readiness to engage. Effective governing requires responsive attitudes on the part of governors," he said.