After receiving a grilling by opposition alliance Outa in Pretoria's High Court on Monday, Sanral went on the defensive on Tuesday.
The roads agency has told the court that Outa's allegation (that the initial notice of the intention to toll roads in Gauteng was “sterile” and “misleading”) is inconsistent.
Representing Sanral, David Unterhalter claimed that: “Sanral engaged in forum after forum after forum.
OUTA 'FLATLY WRONG'
“That allegation is inconsistent... It's highly irresponsible and flatly wrong.”
On Monday, Sanral's lawyer Mike Maritz had argued that the public was not aware what Sanral's Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) would entail.
“There was virtually nothing to be contained in the sterile notice. It was positively misleading and it conveyed to the public that it was only existing roads that were going to be tolled,” he said.
Maritz said this was why there was such a limited response to the notice, with only 30 respondents.
According to section 27 of the Sanral Act, public consultation and input on the project was “critical”, Maritz told the court.
SANRAL FOLLOWED LAW
However, Unterhalter said Sanral had done what was required by law and that there had been public consultation.
He told the court that it had also been reported in the media that there would be an upgrade of the roads in Gauteng.
He said the name Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project clearly stated that the roads would be improved.
“Sanral was not going to simply toll existing roads. Roads were going to be improved,” he said.
Unterhalter said the interpretation of the Sanral Act also played a role.