Court rules against Sanral on Cape tolls

Tammy Petersen

Cape Town - Sanral's decision to toll highways in the Western Cape has been set aside.

The Western Cape High Court ruled in the City of Cape Town's favour on Wednesday when judgment was delivered in the City’s battle against Sanral's decision to toll highways in the province.

City of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has lauded the ruling as a victory for the people.

“If they want to continue with the toll roads they will have to start the whole process again. This time it must include public consultation,” she told the media outside the court room.

During the court proceedings, the City told the court that the Minister of Transport at the time, Jeff Radebe, made the decision to toll the roads on the basis that the state would not carry any costs.

If passed, the toll fees would have been set at 74c per km, which amounts to three times that which Gauteng users currently pay. It was understood that SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) made known its plans to toll the N1 and N2 Cape Winelands highways in 2008.

The company questioned why the City had delayed in bringing the matter to court and raised the Promotion of the Administrative Justice Act (PAJA).

According to the PAJA, review proceedings "must be brought without unreasonable delay and in any event not later than 180 days".

The City's lawyers said although they had delayed in raising the matter, they called for the court to weigh this against an "unlawfully built" toll project "that will affect all the people of the City over a period of thirty years".