Winelands toll project resisted

By Drum Digital
25 March 2013

An application to halt construction of the N1-N2 Winelands toll highway project in Cape Town will be heard in May, a city official said on Monday.

Transport and roads mayoral committee member Brett Herron said the urgent interdict application had been set down for May 16 and 17 in the Western Cape High Court.

"Despite the best efforts of the city's legal teams, the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has thus far not provided the people of Cape Town with a full understanding of the financial implications of this massive project," he said.

Sanral served the city with a notice on March 6 indicating that it intended resuming the project.

"As a result of this notice, it is necessary for the city to proceed with its interdict application to prevent the conclusion of the concession contract, as well as the commencement of the project pending the hearing of the review application," he said.

The city previously filed an urgent interdict application in November 2011.

Sanral agreed at that stage to take no further steps towards implementing the project pending the review application yet to be decided upon by the Western Cape High Court. It had also committed to provide the city with 45 days notice of its intention to start working on the project.

Herron said Sanral agreed not to conclude a concession agreement before June 1, 2013.

Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona previously said negotiation of contracts was a time-consuming and lengthy process.

"Only after the appointment of a concessionaire, and once funding has been secured, can the necessary works under the project be carried out."

He said Sanral was willing to engage with the city on the matter.

Although Sanral respected the city's right to approach the court when it felt aggrieved, Sanral would also exercise its constitutional right in this respect, he said.

The proposed concession route along the N1 extends from west of the R300 interchange through to Sandhills. The N2 portion of the proposed toll road concession extends from west of the R300 to Bot River.

According to a diagram on Sanral's website, 106 kilometres of the N1 and 70km of the N2 would be tolled should the project go ahead.

A notice of intent on its website stated that Sanral would consider an "open road toll" system as used in Gauteng, where remote sensing devices were positioned on gantries and on vehicles.

The project was authorised by the environmental affairs department and a record of decision was issued in September 2003.

After considering appeals against the project, the department gave a revised record of decision in 2008.

-by Sapa

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