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Hunting for parking brings no joy for students

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Aarti Bhana
March03/ 2017

Wits parking facilities are still insufficient, and worsened since the reallocation of a parking bay to staff only. 
Students at Wits are struggling to find available parking spaces on campuses particularly since this year’s reallocation of the second year parking lot near Amic deck to Wits staff members.
Parking office manager, Vijanthi Purmasir told Wits Vuvuzela that the parking lot was reallocated to staff due to an increase in staff numbers and the expansion of buildings on Wits’ west campus.
“The increase in staff now accommodated on the Braamfontein west campus as a result of the expanded Chamber of Mines building, Science Stadium development and the Mathematical Sciences buildings over the last five years necessitated the provision of additional staff parking facilities on this campus,” said Purmasir.
Third year BCom Accounting student, *Vee Pillay, said that finding parking is the biggest issue she faces at Wits.
“[Since the staff parking reallocation], some people are not even parking in bays anymore, they just find whatever space they can, to just squeeze their cars in, and you can’t get out of the parking,” said Pillay.
The issue of insufficient parking spaces has been ongoing, as Wits Vuvuzela has been reporting on it since 2011.
Wits parking operates on a permit-issuing system, in which registered students who require parking must apply for parking permits at a cost of R912 (for the year 2017).
Nirali Kooverjee, another third year BCom Accounting student, said since the parking on Wits works on a first-come-first-served basis, it would be okay if permits issued went only slightly above the number of parking spaces available.
“You are paying so much for parking which may not be guaranteed,” she said.
Purmasir said that parking problems are not limited to Wits, but are experienced at all higher education institutions.
“It is not a realistic expectation that parking can ever be provided on a permit-issued basis. Not all permit holders are on campus simultaneously, given different schedules and timetables,” she said.
In addition, the students who spoke to Wits Vuvuzela said campus control should monitor parking lots to ensure that students do not park in non-designated parking areas, causing an obstruction for other students.
Purmasir said she was aware of the unavailability of convenient parking spaces and also knows that students “opt to park illegally or obstruct access for other vehicles and would risk the chances of receiving a parking fine”.
She, however, added that the university was exploring potential facilities and access controls at the Noswal Hall parkade in Braamfontein, and also at John Orr Technical School in Milpark (subject to funding) by 2019.
*Not her real name

Related Articles: The parking story that won’t end, Wits Vuvuzela, 27 February 2013

 Wits could not be bothered about parking, Wits Vuvuzela, 24 February 2012

Wits parking office keeps questions at bay, Wits Vuvuzela, 2 September 2011

Too many Wits drivers facing too little parking, Wits Vuvuzela, 18 August 2011

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Aarti Bhana