THE Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to congratulate the City Council on its successful battle to reveal the secrets behind the SANRAL deal with the company it has contracted to build and manage the N1 and N2 toll roads.
“This is a victory for transparency and the public of the Western Cape are indebted to the Council for the determined way it perused this case in the public interest,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.
She said the Chamber was shocked by the one-sided nature of the contract and SANRAL’s commitment to compensate the Protea Parkway Consortium for any shortfall in toll fees.
In addition the toll fees were nearly three times as high as the E-tolls in Gauteng and there was certain to be massive resistance from motorists and the road transport industry.
“These secrets reveal that he whole public consultation process was a sham as no meaningful comment was possible without the knowledge we now have,” said Ms Myburgh.
“We have pointed out before that not a single institution in the Western Cape supported the tolling of these roads but all objections were swept away allowing the views to the consortium and SANRAL to prevail. Now we know that the consortium expected revenue of R48 billion over the course of the concession.”
Mr Peter Hugo, chairman of the Chamber’s Transport portfolio committee said that if SANRAL and the Consortium had their way there would be considerable economic damage to the Cape. “The toll fees are very high and they will add significantly to the cost of every container of fruit and wine we export.”
He said the Chamber already had a problem with SANRAL and the way it increased tariffs every year even for projects like the Huguenot tunnel which had already been paid for. “I am amazed that SANRAL really thought they could get away with this. Did they learn nothing from the Gauteng E-tolls disaster?”
To view the detailed statement issued by the City’s Mayoral Committee member, Councillor Brett Herron, please click here.