Muizenberg’s beachfront parking area has been a hot topic for several years now. From a business and tourism viewpoint, the parking area is the “first impression” for visitors, and ideally that impression should be a positive one. Most visitors welcome car guards keeping an eye on their vehicles while they visit the beach and surrounds – however, the informal car guards operating in the area are a mixed bunch: some do a fantastic job and are absolutely trustworthy, while others can be rather intimidating for a variety of reasons.

Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) began negotiations with the City around management of certain beachfront parking bays nearly four years ago after the independent “Beach Buddies” programme was dissolved because it was not officially registered with the City. At the same time, the City launched a public participation process on parking management in several areas in the City including Muizenberg.

MID’s engagement in the City’s process has been a lengthy one, and fraught with several procedural difficulties, including having to start from scratch because the City required different processes to be followed for Special Rating Areas. However, progress has been made, and we are now at the point where the City Property Management has issued a formal valuation with respect to rental.

After careful consideration, the Board has agreed that MID should not take on the financial and operational risks of managing the beachfront parking bays as it requires specific experience and expertise to do so. Leasing City parking bays will also require the MID to take over the responsibility for all maintenance of parking bays, which would include repairing potholes, painting bays, cleaning etc.

As the next step, the MID will motivate the City, to once again, consider Muizenberg as one of the areas where the City Transport Development Agency implement managed parking – as per the City’s Public Participation Process in 2012. This will aid overall public safety on the beachfront with the support of the relevant City Law Enforcement Authorities.

It has been estimated that there are as many as 80 informal car guards operating in Muizenberg at any one time and the competition for operating space can be quite tough. There are no specific City bylaws regarding car guards, with the exception of directing traffic, which may only be done by an authorised officer e.g. traffic officer. Car guards, are however, subject to the same laws as other residents, including, for example, the Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances Bylaw which prohibits harassment, the blocking of parking spaces and aggressive begging.

This particular challenge requires dedicated intervention from the City, and do report incidents of harassment and intimidation to:

  • City Law Enforcement on 107 or 021 596 1999
  • SAPS on 021 788 9000
  • MID Public Safety Officers on 060 850 6260

About MID:

The Muizenberg Improvement District [MID] is a geographic area where property owners have contracted to pay a levy to facilitate a joint effort by the City of Cape Town and the local community to ensure more effective management of public areas and to promote business confidence.The MID supplements normal municipal services provided by the City, using its funds to deal with public safety, enhance the environment and address social issues like vagrancy and finding workable solutions for the homeless. The Muizenberg Improvement District is a legal entity established under the City’s Special Rating Areas by-law and also governed by the South African Companies Act 2008.