Sanral appeal in N2 toll plaza case succeeds

2013-09-12 16:15

The appeal of the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) regarding the operation and maintenance of the N2 South Coast toll plaza was upheld in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Sanral appealed against a high court judgment reviewing and setting aside a tender awarded for the operation and maintenance of the plaza.

The agency had invited tenders for the operation of the plaza and four tenders had been received.

The contract was awarded to Tolcon Lehumo.

A consortium of three companies operating under the name of The Toll Collect Consortium was dissatisfied and brought review proceedings in the high court in Durban.

The review succeeded but Sanral appealed to the SCA.

The SCA today held that judicial review was not a means of obtaining a fresh evaluation of the assessment of competing tenders and the decision to award a tender.

Judge Malcolm Wallis ruled, in a unanimous full-Bench decision, a judicial review was a mechanism to ensure that obligations imposed on public bodies by the Constitution and legislation were observed when tenders were awarded.

“The court could only interfere if the process was infected with illegality,” he said.

The court would not hesitate to interfere with the awarding of a tender where there was impropriety or corruption.

But where the complaints were merely about the result of the evaluation of a tender, a court would be reluctant to intervene.

The SCA found in this matter the challenge to the evaluation of the tenders was essentially an invitation to the court to reassess The Toll Collect Consortium’s tender.

This invitation should be declined, the court held.

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