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City of Harare to introduce Smart park prepaid parking

In the next few days the City of Harare will be rolling out a new prepaid electronic personal parking meter (PPM) system, Smart Park, to replace the current parking discs and eliminate the use of cash at its parking spots.  This was disclosed by Francis Mandaza, the City Parking Customer Care Officer.

The PPM is a small palm-size device which is preloaded with units equivalent to one’s prepaid parking time and is attached to the front driver side window for parking inspection. It is identical to the EasyPark model used in the USA although City Parking claims this is the first time it is being used on the African continent.

When parking in a metered parking area, the user switches the meter on and selects the city zone (the rates are different according to zones) and “activates” the meter to start running. When leaving the parking area, the driver simply deactivates it and switches it off.

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Vehicle owners will be able to purchase the PPM and prepaid parking at any of the City Parking outlets. The parking marshal simply inspects the device to see that it is paid up and valid in the same manner they are used to with parking discs.

The PPM was mainly introduced to move with technology and introduce convenience to drivers. The same device can be used on several registered vehicles which is a plus for corporate customers and can be disabled remotely in the case of theft. It also allows the City to cut back on the costs of paper for the parking discs that are discarded after each use.

One of the challenges that the City is also trying to address is the loss of revenue through corrupt tendencies by its marshals who accept bribes and take cash from vehicle owners for unlimited parking time. This has been a large drain as currently drivers can pay $3 for a whole day which would normal earn the City up to $8.

For drivers, this device allows them to only pay for the time actually parked as opposed to the hourly charges currently in place part of which is never used.

This is a smart move by the City of Harare and we hope they will in the future eliminate the need to visit their prepaid parking outlets by simply linking the account to the various mobile money options for topping up.

 


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16 thoughts on “City of Harare to introduce Smart park prepaid parking

    1. I’m curious about that as well. Presumptuously, the markup on the devices will keep some people well fed. There are plenty other solutions these guys could have explored besides dedicated hardware solutions. When proposals are made ideas are shot down because the top oga can’t see “paanodya”.

  1. It would be nice if when such “wide mandatory adoption” things like these are introduces, they disclose plans well in advance so that local companies can look into whether they cant manufacture or assemble these things themselves. Coz something like this will be a necessity for motorists – so its a definite viable business venture for local entrepreneurs. But they keep these thing to themselves and only say something when the import orders are already agreed. Same with the ZBC digital decoders that are meant to be coming from Huawei. Those are things local entrepreneurs could have done. These are the REAL opportunities for tech entrepreneurship that can build industries – but these madhara are just squandering those chances!

    1. I agree Allaz. It would make sense for entrepreneurs to import those set top boxes but you here without a tender process that suddenly 400,000 units are on their way already. How do you create capacity in the economy if you dont excite the youth? At the same time, the digitisation process creates all this capacity but beyond the Ba Shupi song no one is really aware of or really knows about the opportunities. Who will generate the content? Shouldn’t the youths already be creating full seasons of whatever needs to be on air whenever the process ends?

      1. Not even import – actually MAKE THEM here. Those things are not beyond Zim’s capabilities to put together. Even the fiscalised cash registers that ZIMRA mandated some years ago – there was another manufacturing opportunity wasted. They are talking about doing electronic tags for urban tollgates. Another opportunity which will probably be squandered. Looking at those South Africa’s OVHD Decoders – all the models I’ve seen are from SA companies. That thing is basically a Wiztech. We can make that. Why don’t we get these simple things – I’ll never understand!

        1. I agree with you my colleagues. I think lets collude our forces and knowledge and experience and develop something then we can showcase and market it to compete with these foreign solutions. WAY TO GO…

  2. I hope they wont be quickly phased out the way they phased out those white swipe cards they introduced some time back. I was very annoyed coz i bought it for $10 and used it for 6 months or so then each time i wanted to have money loaded onto it their machines were down. The cards allowed us to swipe for evem 30 minutes which cost 50cents but i am told they were phased out because Easipark wanted to cash in on us paying $1 even if you parked for 10minutes.

    1. You can go to the Easypark Offices at the Rezende Parkade and get a refund of the unsused parktime. I got mine!

  3. I hope they wont be quickly phased out the way they phased out those white swipe cards they introduced some time back. I was very annoyed coz i bought it for $10 and used it for 6 months or so then each time i wanted to have money loaded onto it their machines were down. The cards allowed us to swipe for even 30 minutes which cost 50cents but i am told they were phased out because Easipark wanted to cash in on us paying $1 even if you parked for 10minutes.

  4. Personaly its a relief to me, l religiously pay my parking fees and at most park for about 30mins as l will be buying hardware stuff for my construction work.l have accumulated 8 dollars on unpaid fees but the city council insists that l owe them despite the fact that my car is on tracking and can prove that my average time is 30mins at most, l also have my guys as witnesses ,l have come to believe that the marshals work in cahoots with the city council

  5. what if i dont put it on guys lets be realistic this wont work kkkkkkk. lets give it a try. more free parking.vote ZANU PF

    1. If you don’t put it on you are not paying I would assume and then you risk getting clamped. this system is said to be operating as integrated system with the sensors and now the Marshals and Enforcement have no chance to cheat the system. I have avidly followed this issue I am sure their target is to make it impossible to park and not pay whether voluntarily and or by collusion with the Marshall.

  6. I think its a brilliant idea, because honestly, the council was fleecing us. At times you just want to withdraw mari pabank, 5 minutes wakutonzi dollar. I’m keen to hear the pricing regime yacho nekuti ndopane nyaya yese

  7. I think this is a good idea all round and it appears all set for the motorist to benefit. I am happy Zimbabweans want to step up and make themselves counted in trying to manufacture tech-based products. I think lets understand these basics first which I think are important: Businesses and Councils alike are always on the look out for new and or existing solutions that would give them more value by enhancing efficiency of their systems. Most of these concepts are borrowed because they are patented by international laws and you have to develop yours not because there is a tender but because you have a concept. This is an Israeli technology that has been tested for 15 years now and its good that our Council has been the first to embrace it in Africa. It is important to analyze and research the facts so that we are well informed. This technology is developed and patented by Parx Limited http://www.parxglobal.com and even Australia have borrowed from Israel as has done over 332 municipalities the world over.

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