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Tolling urban roads is ‘fundamentally wrong’, says Outa

SANRAL’s e-toll. Photo: JMK

The tolling of urban road infrastructure is fundamentally wrong, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said.

Following the Constitutional Court ruling that halted the South African National Roads Agency’s (Sanral’s) plans to toll the N1 and N2 in the Western Cape, Outa believed this should not be allowed as urban roads are for public use and used by commuters who pay taxes.

The ruling has been welcomed by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said the organisation has always been convinced that “Sanral’s conduct on the Winelands tolling decision, as it was in the Gauteng e-toll matter, was unlawful, irrational and excessively expensive”.

Similarly, Outa has condemned the e-toll scheme, and has on several occasions called it a “failed” system that should be dismantled.

Outa is also taking Sanral head on after conducting a costing exercise based on the agency’s Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme. Outa said Sanral overpaid on this project by almost R10 billion.

The organisation has also laid a charge against former Sanral CEO Nazir Alli “as a result of his misleading input in court on governance matters relating to the Western Cape tolling decision”.

Relationship with City of Cape Town

Earlier in February, the City of Cape Town and Sanral said they were open to working together on future projects.

Sanral has adopted a new consultative approach with stakeholders, spokesperson Vusi Mona said. This approach aims to help the agency and its stakeholders resolve challenges regarding road infrastructure development across the country’s municipalities.

Sanral’s new CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma recently reaffirmed that the agency would “continue to engage the City of Cape Town to find a solution to the growing congestion crisis in the Winelands area”. He said discussions with the city have already begun.

However, Sanral said it is not only in talks with the Western Cape, but with other provinces and municipalities including eThekwini, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. This is in an effort to unlock economic growth potential and contribute to regional development.

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