The Constitutional Court judgement that puts an end to SANRAL’s plans to build the N1 and N2 toll roads within the municipal area of Cape Town is completely welcomed.
When the plans were first announced, there were widespread objections from the Chamber, the City Council, the Province and other credible organisations, but these were simply ignored.
When a new public participation process begins, SANRAL will find that it has to deal with a well-informed public thanks to the work done by the City Council and organisations like OUTA. We now have benchmark figures for road construction costs and we have seen how tolling facilities simply add to the cost of road building. There is no longer a way for SANRAL to ride roughshod over public opinion.
A new public participation process would also expose SANRAL to questions on their business model and why they continued to charge ever-increasing toll fees on projects that have already been paid for, such as the Huguenot Tunnel.
SANRAL had done good work over the years and it’s a pity that their failure to understand the genuine concerns of the public has resulted in damage to their reputation.
I hope we can look forward to a new era of co-operation and better planning. We have major road transport problems is South Africa and all the authorities will have to work together if we are to solve them. The Chamber looks forward to constructive discussions with the new management of SANRAL.
President of the Cape Chamber