In 2007, in a brilliant job-creating scheme by Cape Town city council, a lot of the coin-operated parking meters were replaced by KFC-operated ones.
One wonders if traffic cones are next in the Soviet-style job creation plan. Or, instead of car-park booms, five people could stand across the road barring your way until you insert your ticket.
This article is from 2007, but showed just how quickly the newly employed attendants illustrated the glaring flaw in the system.
The new parking system has been operational for months now and I’d like to warn other motorists to pay attention to what the parking marshals are doing. I am in Seapoint or the CBD at least 3 times per week and the trip includes several stops. I have only encountered one parking marshal that actually entered the the parking transaction correctly.
Motorists are easily manipulated to pay the parking fee whilst the entry is not even logged. Who knows what the parking attendants do with the money? One attendant admitted to helping himself to between R100 and R200 per day.
Parking marshals use a combination of body language, intimidation and motorists lack of knowledge of the system to get money from motorists.
In most cases they enter your car’s registration number on their little black box, then demand parking money up front. You may think that the transaction is now entered, but it is not activated and the marshal can simply clear it once you are out of sight.
I always insist punching in the activation keys myself (they don’t like this at all). Sometimes the parking time expires on my activated transaction, they then proudly show me the screen "parking expired" and demand more money. The truth is that they have to make a brand new entry for the expired time as the machine does not show a new amount to the marshal.
I once waited for a friend in the car and watched the marshals collecting money from motorists and then head straight for their favourite fast food outlet, retiring with expensive takeaways.
There is also a guy on a bicycle monitoring them, making stops and holding his hand out for money. I am not sure if they have to pay him a portion of the money they take, before helping themselves to some money for themselves.
I was wondering when the parking marshals will start striking so i asked one of them and the answer was to be expected: I will never strike in this job!
Please make sure your entry is activated so that the City of Cape Town can get the parking money.
They have to enter your car’s registration number and your parking time. You then have to press the green activation key and the "C" button on the next screen for Cash. Only then do they have to hand that money in after their shift. When your parking expires they need to start a new entry for the remainder of the time. Don’t be scared of their aggressive attitude. Your parking money is supposed to go to the City of Cape Town and not fast food outlets. Make sure your transaction is entered and activated correctly!