The DA and Cosatu may remain united against toll roads in the Western Cape, but the trade federation has called on the DA-led City of Cape Town to “stop wasting ratepayers’ money” and instead fight the planned toll roads with public opinion.
Capetonians will have to wait at least until next year to hear whether toll roads will be introduced in the Western Cape.
Last week the Supreme Court of Appeal turned down a bid to stop e-tolling in Gauteng - essentially giving the controversial toll roads the final green light.
Asked what this meant for the the proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway Project, mayoral committee member for roads, transport and stormwater Brett Herron said the legal challenge would go ahead.
But Cosatu provincial head Tony Ehrenreich urged the city to stop, and instead fight toll roads “with public opinion”.
Ehrenreich promised Cosatu would also fight the toll roads, but on the streets.
He warned that toll roads were legal, and had to be fought with public opinion instead.
“A lot of this money is wasted in the courts. We will act in line with Cosatu’s national position and we will be mobilising people against it,” he said.
But transport MEC Robin Carlisle warned that even if the ANC in the Western Cape fought against the toll roads, the national ANC government could still impose a “decision from the top”.
“It’s very simple: if you want toll roads in the Western Cape, then vote for the ANC.”
Carlisle believed local ANC members did not want the toll project either, including its ANC MPLs in the provincial legislature.
The Western Cape High Court granted the city’s application for an interdict against the South African National Roads Agency Limited in May. It meant the city managed to halt the agency from taking any steps to implement the proposed project, pending the final determination of the city’s review application.
There was also an order for Sanral to hand over a number of documents which formed part of its decision-making process, which Sanral had refused to provide.
“We’ve got some of the information, but there’s more that we’re waiting on.”
Carlisle said: “We don’t even know the full cost of the project. We’re told, for example, that a possible tunnel through Sir Lowry’s Pass would only come years down the line, but we happen to know that the contract to a concessionaire would not be viable without such a tunnel.
“We have yet to ascertain the exact, finite plans and numbers, but we remain convinced it’s an unnecessary expense.”
Herron said the city was finalising supplementary affidavits, in support of its review application, and hoped to be granted a court date next year. - Cape Argus