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Cape Town says Sanral decisions ‘unlawful’

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The ongoing battle to stop portions of the N1 and N2 from becoming toll roads continued in the Supreme Court of Appeal on Tuesday, as the the City of Cape Town again argued Sanral’s decision was improper and unlawful.

In 2015 the Western Cape High Court set aside approvals that gave Sanral the go-ahead to collect R62 billion in tolls on the Winelands routes, but the roads authority was granted leave to appeal.

On Tuesday the city tried to stave off the tolling of the city’s two main national roads, arguing before a bench of five Appeal Court judges that Sanral had not followed due process in arriving at the decision.

It’s the city’s contention the Sanral board never took the decision to toll the roads as prescribed by the Sanral Act.

It further argued the public participation process did not provide adequate information to the public and their comments and objections were not presented to the Sanral board.

The city is of the view the tolls will be three times higher than those charged on Gauteng’s freeways and that Sanral’s report to the minister of transport did not mention the social impacts of tolling, the affordability for low-income road users and the financial viability of the project.

‘Sanral must act within the law’

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said: “Even though it is within the national government’s mandate to determine how road infrastructure should be funded, the political decision-makers and public entities such as Sanral are still obliged to follow due process and to act within the law.”

The city remained opposed to tolling as a means to fund road upgrades, he said, but it was prepared to work with Sanral to find a solution for the infrastructural upgrades.

The city requested the SCA dismiss Sanral’s appeal with costs.

Judgment in the matter was reserved.

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