Sanral loses bid for toll secrecy

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IOL  CA_herron0 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport for Cape Town. Picture: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - The secrecy application for the Winelands tolling project by the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) has been dismissed in the Western Cape High Court.

But the papers relating to the tolling project case will remain sealed, as some of the information would cause “unjustified and unnecessary concern among the general public”.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport for Cape Town, said this morning: “Secrecy application is dismissed. City shall deliver our papers in open court.”

The judgment was handed down this morning in open court and with no restrictions. Herron, pictured, has said that the process Sanral used to get the N1 and N2 declared as toll roads was improper and unlawful.

The city’s review application therefore seeks to have all decisions taken by Sanral about the project set aside, and the project itself scrapped.

The court heard argument of the secrecy application on August 4 and 5, when judgment was reserved.

A high court interdict granted to the city last year prevents Sanral from continuing with the controversial tolling of the N1 and N2 until the finalisation of the city’s review application. The city contended that information included in its supplementary papers was of “great public importance”, relating to a project involving “millions of rands to be funded by public money”.

It is understood that some of the issues to be raised in court relate to the cost of converting the two national roads, the proposed fee structure and the expected profits.

There’s been widespread objection to the proposed project, including from the Cape Chamber of Commerce that has opposed any form of toll rolls within the city limits.

The Right2Know Campaign, one of the organisations backing the city’s bid to have the toll road matter heard in open court, said tolling would have serious implications for all residents, especially the poor. “This matter can’t be dealt with in secret.”

Herron has said that the city rejects the tolling proposal on the basis that the road upgrades are unnecessary and the toll fees would be detrimental to poor and low-income residents.

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Cape Argus



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