Cape Town – Sanral’s decision to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling in the Winelands tolling matter is “astonishing”, a city of Cape Town official said on Thursday.
Transport mayoral committee member Brett Herron said they were informed earlier that the South African National Roads Agency Limited had filed an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
He believed this was an “irrational decision” as the city had won every court round to date and it would waste taxpayers’ money.
The SCA ruled last month that Sanral and the transport minister acted unlawfully in purporting to have the Winelands routes in the province declared toll roads.
It dismissed an appeal by Sanral over the right to toll the N1 and N2 routes.
However, the SCA said it would be in breach of the separation of powers for the court to rule on whether the project ought to go ahead, and whether tolling was an appropriate means of financing it.
Herron said the city’s legal costs after almost five years in this matter stood at over R20m.
“We asked Sanral at the time to finally concede that they followed an improper and unlawful process which, if it was left unopposed, would have resulted in Western Cape road users paying R62bn in toll fees over a period of 30 years.”
He believed wasting tax money was irresponsible given the “lack of funding for higher education, tighter austerity measures imposed by Treasury and slow domestic growth”.
Herron implored Sanral to work with the city to find a solution for the infrastructural upgrades that may be required for the N1 and N2 freeways.
The proposed concession route along the N1 extended from west of the R300 interchange through to Sandhills.
The N2 portion of the proposed toll road concession extended from west of the R300 to Bot River.
About 180km of highway in the province will be tolled should the project go ahead.
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