Complaint over metal bar at Sea Point centre’s parking entrance

The Point shopping centre in Sea Point has been criticised for its metal bar above the entrance gate.

A Sea Point resident, Abraham Cunio, said he drove his Land Rover Defender through the St Andrews entrance gate of The Point centre’s parking garage and his vehicle was damaged as it hit the metal bar above the entrance gate.

The permissible maximum vehicle height of the bar, confirmed by The Point management is 2.05 metres.

Mr Cunio claims that the height of his car is lower than 2.05m.

He said a security officer was present when the incident occurred and was alerted by a loud bang when the car hit the metal bar.

“He recorded the incident and took my particulars, with the promise that the centre would contact me, which they did not,” said Mr Cunio.

He added that his emails went unanswered and it was only after his persistence that he finally got a response.

He said the management refused to measure the height of his car and denied that the centre was responsible for the damage.

Mr Cunio said while it was correct that the height at the bar is or as close to the 2.05-metre height indicated on the bar, the centre did not take into account the slope of the access ramp, which he said explained why a car that is less than the permissible height still hits the bar.

He said when he mentioned this, he was told that the centre took legal advice regarding similar accidents previously and that the centre was right in refusing payment for any damage.

“I question the legality of the centre’s legal opinion, as it is obvious to me that the notice on the bar is to convey the message that any car under the maximum permissible height as it is indicated on the bar may enter the centre safely,” he said.

He said his insurers told him that they are unlikely to take the legal route, as the cost of the repair does not justify the high cost of litigation.

Mr Cunio said he regularly entered the V&A Waterfront parking garage with his car where the maximum permissible height on the bar is indicted as a maximum height of 2 metres.

Paul Berman, chief executive officer of Berman Brothers Property, said the height of the bar is 2.05m.

“This notwithstanding, we have many Land Rovers, 4x4s, etc, that enter the parking with no problem. We even went so far as to get the exact same vehicle that the complainant drove to check the heights and it also was able to drive in under the bar without any issue.

“The only possibility that we could establish is if the complainant drove in at a sharp angle by cutting the corner causing the vehicle to rise at a particular point and that could have given rise to the problem.

“This notwithstanding, all vehicles which are compliant and enter the driveway correctly enter seamlessly and without issue,” he said.