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Cape Town - It would be cheaper for the South African National Roads Agency Limited to fund the upgrade of the N1 and N2 itself, instead of implementing a private toll scheme that will net a consortium more than R40 billion in revenue it stands to earn from the project.

In court papers served on Tuesday in the Western Cape High Court, the City of Cape Town city also slammed Sanral for “wasting” taxpayers’ money on expensive advertisements to mislead the public.

This after the agency published full colour advertisements in the daily newspapers on Tuesday to provide answers to “frequently asked” questions about the proposed Winelands toll project.

The advert said toll tariffs had yet to be finalised as the tender process was stalled by the City of Cape Town’s court action. It said tariffs would be approved by the national minister of transport, and not Sanral.

But Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport for Cape Town, said the information in its replying affidavit, from independent experts, revealed “how little of every rand collected in toll fees” would benefit the road user.

‘29c OF EACH TOLL RAND WILL BE SPENT ON ROADS’

Herron said that contrary to the so-called benefits listed by Sanral in its full-page adverts, toll road users would pay R2 in tolls for every R1 of benefit. He said the experts had worked out that of each rand paid in toll fees, only 29c would be spent on construction, maintenance and operational works.

If other non-toll items and the cost of public finance were added, then the construction, maintenance and operational works that would benefit road users would be equivalent to 41c of each rand of toll revenue.

“We have said before that Sanral’s proposed tolling of the N1 and N2 freeways will be detrimental to the residents of the Western Cape and the province’s economy, in particular to those sectors that rely on freight services such as the agricultural sector.”

The review application will be heard on August 11.

Cape Argus