Judgment reserved in toll secrecy bid

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iol news pic w cape e-tolls court INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS It is disappointing that courts are not very familiar with issues around access to information, the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign said. File photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment on an application by Sanral to prevent the City of Cape Town from filing its papers on the N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway project in an open court.

Cape Town transport mayoral committee member Brett Herron said the city concluded its argument to oppose the SA National Roads Agency Limited's application.

“All of the parties are now to make written submissions to the judge in the matter of whether the city may file its supplementary founding papers in an open court.”

Herron said the supplementary papers contained important details about the proposed tolling of the N1 and N2 highways and construction involving “billions of rands”.

“The city is opposing this tolling project, as well as Sanral’s application that our founding papers should be kept secret, with all of the resources at our disposal.”

Sanral brought its application on Monday to keep the papers out of the public domain because of commercial confidentiality.

The application was heard in camera.

In May last year, the city was granted an interim interdict to halt the proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway project.

The interdict remains in force until the court reviews Sanral's declaration of the project and the selection of the preferred bidder.

No date has yet been set for the review.

Sanral said on Monday that its application had to do with tender procedures.

“We do so because the benefits attaching to such plans or tenders have not yet been secured and a competitive tender process may be at risk of being usurped by others if disclosed prematurely,” spokesman Vusi Mona said.

He said the state-owned entity understood that information relating to a tender process could not be protected indefinitely.

“However, before the process has been finalised, we believe there is a case for confidentiality.”

Sapa



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