The Sunday Mail
HARARE Driving School Association (HDSA) has raised issue over failure by Harare City Council (HCC) to provide a well-serviced training ground for learners, with ablution facilities and running water despite charging exorbitant fees on parking discs for a “non-existent parking area.”
HCC is charging $18 000 for a driving school truck for ranking fees and $12 000 for small driving school vehicle, respectively.
However, despite charging these exorbitant fees the association claims that the local authority is failing to give driving schools serviced land to conduct their trainings.
Currently, the driving schools are using serviced open space at Robert Mugabe Square and another open space near at Granite Site along Seke Road, which both get muddy in the rainfall season.
The open spaces have no ablution facilities or running water, making life difficult for instructors and learners.
HDSA chairman Mr Nelson Mbedzi said this was unfair on the part of Council, and was hurting their business. “We are paying fees for the rank that is not there at all and those fees are very high, beyond our reach as SMEs. For example, we are paying $18 000 for a driving school truck and Zinara we pay $9 000 for the same truck, which we cannot use countrywide.
“On top of that when we get into town to pick our clients we are also made to pay for parking bays, which is in itself double dipping,” Mr Mbedzi said.
“The fees are too much considering it’s only for Harare central business district. We approached the courts and we have the court judgment, which states that they should provide a training ground with all facilities to train learners.”
Mr Mbedzi said they approached the local authority on several occasions but nothing was forthcoming.
“We are continuing paying exorbitant fees but to no avail. It’s very unfortunate that the city fathers are treating us as if we don’t comply to the city by-laws,” said Mr Mbedzi.
Contacted for comment HCC spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the site for driving school will be budgeted for next year.
“The site for driving schools to operate from is planned for at corner Dieppe and Seke Road next to Harare quarry. This site is yet to be developed,” Mr Chideme said.
“The fees they pay are for the use of city roads during driving lessons. This is what they pay for.”