City hires firms to clamp down on illegal parking

City motorists who don’t pay parking fees will from January have a tough time as Nairobi outsources clamping and towing to seven firms to reduce graft-related losses and increase compliance.

City Hall says that it doesn’t have the capacity to clamp and tow the over 74,000 motorists who don’t pay for parking every month and will issue seven companies with contracts for the service.

Outsourcing of the service is also linked to reducing graft among the county parking staff who have been accused of colluding with motorists and pocketing the fees.

“Currently we are doing clamping internally but it’s not very effective because the administration with our internal staff is wanting,” Gregory Mwakanongo, the Finance Executive said. “As a result we feel that compliance in parking is not at the levels we expect.”

The seven companies will be deployed in the central business district (CBD) Industrial Area Westlands and Upper Starehe areas Dagoretti North, Kibra and Lang’ata Kasarani Roysambu and Ruaraka. They will be expected to have their own clamps and towing vehicles.

Mr Mwakanongo, however, did not reveal the terms agreed with the companies.

The CBD’s parking spaces are designated and the county will mark parking slots in all other areas to make it easy for the contracted companies.

The county has 1,000 clamps but on average clamps about 2,000 cars per month leaving the rest to enjoy free parking or pay a lower amount to corrupt officers.

The county expects that the companies will catch as many as 50,000 of the non-compliant motorists every month translating to an extra Sh115 million.

READ: City Hall brings in e-clamp to catch parking cheats

City Hall currently charges S00 for on-street parking every day except on Sundays when it is free. But clamped vehicles must pay the daily charge and a Sh2,000 fine.

The county collected Sh2 billion from parking fees against a target of Sh2.8 billion in the year ended June. Weak enforcement was cited as one of the main reasons for the underperformance.

Mr Mwakanongo said outsourcing of clamping and towing is in line with other world cities where the services are offered by private firms on behalf of the city authorities.

This is the third major service that the county is now outsourcing having already contracted JamboPay to collect all revenues on its behalf through an e-payment platform.

The county is also set to issue contracts for garbage collection. Mr Mwakanongo said that workers in these areas will be re-deployed to other sectors.