Easipark rates fair: Masunda

HARARE - Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda says Easipark parking rates are fairly-priced despite an international parking charges survey revealing the fees are exorbitant.

According to a global central business district parking rates survey by Colliers International (Colliers) — a global property services firm — at one dollar per hour, Harare’s parking rates are even more expensive than in Sandton, South Africa’s affluent business centre.

“I sincerely believe they (Easipark rates) are competitively-priced,” Masunda told businessdaily.

“It is always odious to make two comparisons between oranges and lemons as it is well-nigh impossible to compare the like when you are dealing with metropolitan entities like Harare and Johanesburg which have their pluses and minuses!,” Masunda argued.

But, Harare’s motorists also complain that Easipark’s parking fees are steep with the dollar per hour rate translating to approximately $168 per month, for an average 21 working days at eight hours a-day.

“That’s ridiculous. One dollar per hour remains too expensive for us in Zimbabwe. Consider the state of our economy. People can hardly afford one dollar per day for a meal,” said one Zimbabwean motorist who preferred anonymity.

His view is shared by almost all Harare’s motorists.

Harare’s parking business is managed by Easipark, a partnership between City of Harare and Easihold — a South African company.

The survey revealed that London City has the highest parking rates at $1 083,59 per month.

The city tops the list of the 50 most expensive closely followed by London West End and Zurich at $1 014,32 and $822,15 respectively.

There is no African city in the list.

In Cairo, Egypt, parking rates average $139,51 per month while Cape Town and Johannesburg average $95 and $72 dollars respectively.

Sandton averages $101 per month.

The survey also revealed that Hong Kong has the most exorbitant monthly parking fees in the Asia-Pacific.
Hong Kong’s monthly median parking rate was $744,72 in 2011.

With less than a dollar’s difference, Tokyo came in as Asia’s number two.

The reason for Hong Kong’s pricey parking rates is rooted in governmental curbs on the city’s residential market.

“Be it for a day or a month, the cost of parking a car generally increased over the past 12 months.

“With the exception of the United States, all regions saw the price of parking go up,” said Colliers.

The company said; “among the top ten, no single region dominated in this year’s survey; North America, Europe, and Asia Paci?c are represented by a broad mix of cities.

“However, almost all Latin American cities saw double digit increases for both daily and monthly parking.” - Eric Chiriga, Business Editor

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