What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Parking Ticket?

Parking in the Cape Town CBD has become an expensive business nowadays. Parking marshals find themselves at every street corner collecting money for street parking.

Sometimes you might find yourself in a hurry and can’t seem to see them anywhere. Other times you find it unfair to pay for the five minutes you spent waiting in the car while parked in a spot.

But have you ever wondered what happens if you don’t pay for your parking ticket?

We did some investigations and here’s what we found.

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Who’s In Charge Of Collecting The Money? 

The City of Cape Town subcontracts the management of street parking to a private company. The current subcontracted company is Street Parking Solutions (SPS).

SPS employ the parking marshals to man the different roads in the CBD.

We did try and ask them for comment however, they rudely declined.

The City of Cape Town did offer their input as they are the ones who control the parking laws in the city.

According to the 2010 City of Cape Town Parking By-law, “The City may manage parking and collect any fees related to parking or appoint a service provide to manage parking and to collect fees related to parking.”

The Law further states that a person who does not adhere to paying their fees, is committing an offence.

So What If I Don’t Pay? 

According to City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member of Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron, mentions the importance of people complying with the law.

“If the driver fails to pay for parking, he/she has committed an offence and can be fined by an enforcement officer,” explains Herron.

This might be the case, however the law enforcement officer would have to be there when you don’t pay. This means that you could get away without paying as long as there are no authorities present.

Herron also mentions that SPS is not part of the traffic department so you can not receive a fine if you don’t pay your parking tickets.

“Fines for failing to pay for parking; or like those for parking on a yellow line or in a loading bay, are issued on the street by an enforcement officer. Fines that are served via mail are typically for offences that are captured on camera.”

Read more about traffic fines and how you can contest them below

Your Unpaid Parking Impacts The Marshal!

There are currently differing opinions as to whether the unpaid ticket is taken off the marshal’s salary. 

Cape Town Labour Lawyer, Michael Bagraim is urging all drivers to pay for their parking. He says that some of these marshals have previously not been treated correctly by their employer. They don’t need to be treated badly by the man on the street too.

I’m saying to the public that its absolutely awful to do it because the person who actually loses out is the marshal, not the company. They just deduct it from the marshal’s salary. Marshals are the people that suffer and not the company itself.,” explains Bagraim. 

Herron, however, disagrees and states that this is not the case. He says that marshals are not required to pay the lost ticket money.

“Marshals are not required to pay Street Parking Solutions the value of the unpaid parking fees out of their own pockets.  However, marshals retain revenue collected above a specified threshold so refusal by drivers to pay parking fees directly impacts on the marshals’ income.”

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Ever Wondered Why They Take A Photo Of The Vehicle? 

Well there’s no tracking device or anything sneaky related to this activity. The marshal simply takes a photo of the vehicle’s number plate in order to log the ‘transaction’.

“This data is purely part of Street Parking Solutions’ transaction records, similar to processes used by parking companies managing parking at shopping centres and airports across the country,” explains Herron.

They can not use this to track you and fine you as they are not linked to the Traffic Department.

Read more about whether you can renew your licence despite having unpaid fines to your name below

Read More.

What If The Marshal Is Not There? 

The marshals employ a “pay and display” process. Drivers are required to pay the relevant marshal immediately when they park. 

If they are not there when you arrive, you will receive a payment-due notice on your windscreen.

“When they[drivers] return to the vehicle the driver is compelled to pay for the parking to the nearest available marshal before leaving,”comments Herron.

Although it is not our responsibility as the driver to go on a man-hunt to find the parking marshal, be considerate. Remember that these marshals rely on this money to feed their families.

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