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Sanral in court bid to keep lid on toll plans

Cape Town - The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) will try to convince a court on Monday why some information about a proposed R10 billion N1 and N2 tolling project should be kept secret.

It wants the Western Cape High Court to grant an order for “commercial confidentiality” about the upgrade and tolling of the two highways leading into Cape Town. The court will hear the matter in camera.

The application is part of a bigger case between Sanral and the City of Cape Town in which the municipality had approached the court to set aside the decision to declare the N1 and N2 toll roads.

Last year, the court put a temporary stop to the tolling project until the finalisation of the city’s application.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said the city’s papers showed how much it would cost to convert the N1 and N2 into toll roads, how proposed toll fees would compare with those paid in Gauteng, the toll revenue expected, and how much of the toll fees would be spent on the infrastructure and operations.

He said Sanral’s positionof keeping some information secret was “inconsistent with its duties of accountability and transparency”.

Last week, Right2Know, Section 16 and the Open Democracy Advice Centre said they had applied to be admitted as friends of the court and to challenge the use of secrecy in this matter.

“E-tolling will have serious implications. This matter can’t be dealt with in secret,” Right2Know spokeswoman Busi Mtabane said.

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