CT's Biscuit Mill passing on cost of parking problems to ratepayers - JP Smith

The Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town's Woodstock suburb is a drawcard for locals and tourists alike.

But its popularity has a downside - there isn't enough parking.

Caller Dr Harris Steinman says he was intimidated by locals on two occasions over the weekend, when he tried to find a place to park a few streets away from the design and food hub.

One of the locals came up and demanded R30 for parking and I pointed out it's a public area.

Dr Harris Steinman, Caller

He said, no, they control it and it's R30.

Dr Harris Steinman, Caller

The incident was repeated when Steinman drove off and pulled over near an open space.

He says this time, another person demanding money, became threatening.

The community - people sitting around - joined him to back him up that he's entitled to charge me R30.

Dr Harris Steinman, Caller

Steinman says his response that he would escalate the incident to law enforcement was met with shrugs.

He believes the group implied that if he did not pay, his car would be damaged.

The City's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith says this particular incident is difficult to deal with - he agrees with Steinman that there is no obligation to pay, but if any damage had been done to the vehicle a criminal charge would have had to be laid.

The problem is that the person who has asked you for the money hasn't necessarily breached any law on which you can take action.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security

He says in the past, complaints about parking came from residents in the area.

My last complaints were from residents about the visitors to Biscuit Mill parking irresponsibly, blocking driveways...

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security

The City followed up with traffic enforcement in the area.

Smith says the management of the Biscuit Mill is not taking responsibility for a situation which it has created by providing inadequate parking and exterior security.

Effectively they're passing that cost on to the general rate payer.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security

For more on this issue and details of the by-laws affecting car guards, click on the link below:


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