Solving the issue of parking on campus is proving to be more difficult than finding a solution to the Middle East crisis. The academic year has only just begun and already students are complaining about the lack of parking space.
Parking fees went up from R554 last year to R642 this year, and returning students say there has been no improvement, even after a series of complaints were lodged with last year’s SRC.
Students are now urging Wits management to come up with a solution.
“The parking situation is untenable and the problem has to be resolved soon,” says Daniel Katzew, a 2nd year Actuarial Science student. “First years are getting a negative impression of Wits and current students are getting fed up.”
“Surely the solution is to close the booms so that everyone has a designated parking spot,” he suggested.
First years are receiving their own lessons in time management, with allocated parking at the bottom of West Campus. Some claim it takes half an hour to walk from their cars to East campus lecture halls.
“In my first week at Wits I was late three times because I had to park so far away,” said Nicole da Silva. “They didn’t prepare us for this at O-week, and I now know that I have to leave home an hour earlier just so I can find a parking spot and get to class on time.”
However, Wits Parking Office Manager Vijanthi Purmasir says there is ample parking space available for all students.
“We understand that it is not always possible to find a convenient parking near to their lecture rooms at certain times of the day, however this should not be a reason for contravening the parking rules as additional parking is available at the bottom end of West Campus.”
She said students refuse to park at the bottom end of campus because they either arrive late for their lectures or simply do not want to walk.
Purmasir said the parking office will crack down on parking offences this year and parking officers will be ticketing and wheel-clamping all offenders and “inconsiderate” students who park other vehicles in.
Fines will range from R75 to R200 for wheel-clamping.