decision to proceed was an “irrational one”
A group DA supporters gathered in protest of local tolls in Cape Town yesterday. Taking place outside the WC High Court, to the chant of “No to tolls!”
The protest was aimed at supporting the City of Cape Town’s application to have the controversial plans for tolls on the N1 and N2 to be scrapped. The City is trying to get the decision by SA National Road Agency Limited to be dropped as they believed, “this is a case about decisions that will have huge consequences that will last at least 30 years.”
Geoff Budlender, SC for the city told the court that Sanral and the various officials and ministers who gave the go ahead in 2008 – did not have the necessary information and details to make an informed decision. He further added that that the costs and impacts of the tolling needed to be considered when determining its viability – research which has not been conducted.
Outside court, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “It’s taken us four long years of lots of legal fee expenses to get here. We also had to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal to get the information that Sanral used to make their decision. We are also here because they didn’t do an impact study on the poor people living alongside the N1 and N2.”
De Lille stated that she believed that the decision to proceed was an “irrational one” as it will have negative effects on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
The cost estimates in 2008 -when Sanral decided to approve the controversial project – amounted to only R5b, however by 2011 those estimates had already reached upwards of R50b.
In 2014, after the Supreme Court of Appeal made a ruling declaring that the information used to determine the project’s viability – needed to be made public – it was discovered that the price would come to over double what users in Gauteng face. Estimated at 72c / km compared to Gauteng’s 30c / km.
It’s clear that while roads do need to be upgraded, De Lille stated that the entire process in which these tolls have come into consideration is, “procedurally flawed”.