Cape Town takes Sanral to court over etoll secrecy

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Representatives of the City of Cape Town and 11 “Friend” organisations will be in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein tomorrow, appealing a court order which shrouds the future of toll roads in the Cape in mystery.

Last year, the Western Cape High Court agreed with the South Africa National Roads Agency (Sanral) that it should be allowed to keep its strategy documents for the N1 and N2 roads under wraps, despite earlier judgements in 2007 that there should be full disclosure to the City. The City objects to the rumoured plans to introduce etolling – using the Gauteng model – in the Cape.

Following the judgement, Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona seemed to deny that Sanral was considering etolls.

“Firstly, whereas in Gauteng we went out to borrow money in order to build the road, with Cape Town we will be appointing a concessionaire on a build, operate and transfer basis,” Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said at the time, “Secondly, there will be conventional toll plazas along the N1 and N2. The electronic or automated method of payment, is a possible future consideration dependant on traffic volumes.”

The judgement was the last ruling in a long-standing battle between the City of Cape Town and Sanral, which began in 2007. and not taking the matter lightly, the City of Cape Town will tomorrow appeal the court order issued in August.

The City, which has been vocal over proposed toll routes, will be joined by at least 10 other organisation as Friends of the Court, and includes the Right2Know Campaign, Sanef and the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism.

“The judgement of the High Court substantially reduces current access to records of the High Court, threatens the freedom of the media, curtails the work of public interest organisations and undermines the independence of the judiciary,” the Right2Know Campaign said in statement on the subject in February.

[Image – Shutterstock]



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