Death of the High Street – Parkhurst Village vs City of Johannesburg

The Parkhurst Community has been at loggerheads with the City of Johannesburg, and in particular the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police, over the implementation of a pay parking system in Parkhurst.  In this discussion we speak to the Parkhurst Residents Association, a Municipal Councillor for the area and traders in Parkhurst’s High Street, about their concerns and the impacts they have already felt, since the implementation of the system in April 2012.

In this conversation, the Parkhurst community discusses their frustration with the implementation, which they say, has taken place with limited consultation and has not provided them with a solution to their original problem-which was to regulate parking in High Street on weekends and evenings.  However the system has had a negative impact on businesses who have lost clients due to the increased cost of day time visits to Parkhurst. The harassment of motorist on the part of parking attendants and JMPD has created an unpleasant, combative environment changing the vibe and appeal of Parkhurst, to visitors to the community.

It was reported that traders have in a month noted losses of between 20-50% in revenue as a result of the introduction of the pay parking system. This makes continuing to trade in Parkhurst unviable for many traders, who have now begun to look at other options.

The Residents Association will pursue legal measures and other means of public pressure to get the City to withdraw the system. They argue that it was not intended for a suburban environment, but rather a CBD. The income received from the system is miniscule, of which the City only receives 25%. This in their view hardly justifies the complete transformation of the community and loss of traders.

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