Cape Town – Upgrades to the Huguenot Tunnel have been delayed by a court review application by the City of Cape Town, Sanral said on Tuesday.
“Certain upgrades should have already been done but have been delayed by the court interdict,” Sanral regional manager, Kobus van der Walt told Fin24.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a site visit to the tunnel near Paarl.
The City has brought an application to have Sanral's decision to toll sections of the N1 and N2 highways into Cape Town reviewed and set aside.
The Western Cape High Court decision is still pending.
The upgrade of the tunnel should have been initiated in 2012 and was set to be completed in November 2015, said Van der Walt.
Sanral said it was currently non-compliant with certain aspects of its Huguenot Tunnel operation. It required R1.5bn to address safety concerns.
The operation and upgrades to the Huguenot Tunnel have been incorporated into the broader Cape Winelands toll project.
On Tuesday the City of Cape Town accused Sanral of 'peddling lies' about the Huguenot Tunnel.
"Sanral should stop blaming the City for the impasse," mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, said in a statement.
"If the safety equipment in the current tunnel has reached the end of its design life, then Sanral needs to replace that equipment, not construct a second tunnel," Herron said.
In March 2014 the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry criticised Sanral for its intention to subsidise upgrades to the tunnel from "unwanted toll roads".
At the time Peter Hugo, chair of the chamber’s transport portfolio committee, pointed out that after 26 years, the construction costs of the tunnel “had probably been paid for and all that was required was toll fees to cover maintenance and operating costs”.
According to Van der Walt the Chamber of Commerce “does not have its facts correct”.
“There is still an outstanding debt of close to R1.9bn on the tunnel,” he said.
“Tolls from the tunnel will generate enough funding to provide for the upgrades.”