Outa has fired its second salvo in as many days, slamming claims by Sanral this week that it misrepresented the facts concerning the costs of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

On Wednesday, Sanral held a press conference in which it challenged aspects of a report on the GFIP’s projected costs compiled by Outa, which concluded that, when compared to similar projects from around the world, were inflated by around 321% per kilometre.

Project Manager for the GFIP, Alex Van Niekerk said that not only could certain reports cited in Outa’s report not be found on the internet, but in some instances the figures quoted in some parts of the report were inaccurate.

Sanral CEO Nazir Alli even went as far as to say Outa sought to promote lawlessness.

Today, Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage held a press conference in which he addressed some of Sanral’s more emotive points.

“We take issue with the assertion that we’re promoting lawlessness. We’re not,” he said. “We’re standing our ground on an important issue.”

“We are not Sanral’s enemy, and neither are we their subjects,” he said.

Duvenage reiterated Outa’s statement issued yesterday that the association wouldn’t make up figures and statistics and that all of the information in its initial GFIP report was available to view online.

One of the main thrusts of Outa’s press conference, it turns out, was to address some of the undertones of Sanral’s press briefing.

Citing a story in the  Citizen which stated that Alli had hinted that Outa’s attacks on Sanral’s integrity were “based on a racist mindset,” Duvenage said: “That, I find very concerning. That is a shocking statement.”

Duvenage went onto say that Outa was not opposing Sanral’s GFIP costs or even etolls because it was an organisation made up of bored dilettantes.

“We’re not fools. Infrastructure doesn’t just fall out of the sky. We know that citizens have to pay for it,” said Duvenage. “But when there are glaring questions as to the efficiencies, high costs and poor judgement, decisions and conduct by these entities, and which are not in the best interests of the public, we have every right [to ask] and will continue asking the hard questions.”

[Image – CC by 2.0/Justin Brown]