Saturday morning was our great trip to the Biscuit Mill (I’ll post about this later), but we returned with a nice R200 fine on our car (that’s about $20). The kicker was that someone had pointed this particular spot to us as a viable option. He was even there upon our return and acted as if he was clueless. I immediately regretted my decision to pay him for helping us park.
So here’s how things went down today when I tried to fight/pay my parking fine.
I drove down to the area I considered might be near City Hall and asked a parking employee that was walking around. His instruction was to go to the Civic Centre. Great, I now had a destination that wasn’t too far away. I made my way over, parked and walked into the Civic Centre. A nice government building with high ceilings and big ambiguous signs of where to go. I figured ‘Pay Here’ would work. I lined up…sorry, queued up, and prepared to fight. I spoke to the woman at the window who said I could pay here, but to fight the charge I’d have to go to City Hall. I resigned to the fact that I had to pay and didn’t want any more hassle. I gave her the ticket. She asked, ‘when did you get this?’ I responded Saturday and she informed me that it most likely wouldn’t be in the system and I therefore wouldn’t be able to pay the fine. She confirmed her suspicions and told me I had to go to City Hall.
I was committed to at least paying this fine so I ventured over to City Hall near where I started my task. Now I’d at least have the opportunity to ask why we had received the ticket in the first place, try to fight it and in the worst case, pay for it.
City Hall – def: ‘Place of confusion in Cape Town’
I entered and saw a place to pay. It informed me that I would have to first go to Enquiries if I wanted to ask questions beyond giving my money and asking for a receipt. Enquiries informed me that I’d have to go to the Parking Office. Down the hall and to the right. I went down the hall and to the right. I asked about the Parking Office and the gentleman informed me ‘Not here, this is the prosecutors office. Go back down the hall there.’ Ok, that’s the direction I had just come from. So I waited in the Parking Fine Payment room thinking they might be able to shed some light on my confusion. He informed me, ‘You have to go to the Enquiries Office first.’ Yes, I was already there. ‘Oh, then you need to go to the Prosecutors Office. Right. Back down the hall and to the right. I entered the Prosecutors office where a gentleman helped me by saying that I’d have to talk to Ticketing Office. I avoided the obvious confusion that followed and asked if he could please reduce the fine amount due to my tourist induced stupidity. He would in fact grant this request. Cool, now we’re down to R70.
I headed promptly to the Payment Office with money in hand. ‘No, you have to go to the Enquiries Office to first change the payment amount before you can pay.’ Right. Out the hall and to the left. Wait in line. ‘I’m sorry, when did you get ticketed? Oh, it won’t be in our system yet. Can you please come back in 2-3 weeks?’ I laugh and leave.
Moral of the story: don’t trust those guys in yellow vests helping you park, they have no idea what they’re doing.