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Sanral: DA on fishing expedition

Sanral maintains it has done everything by the book.

FILE: A motorist uses the N12 highway, a proposed toll road in Johannesburg on Thursday, 15 November 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

JOHANNESBURG -The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has called the Democratic Alliance's (DA) demand to have its own copy of the 6,000 page e-toll system contract a "fishing expedition".

It's been a tense few days between the DA and Sanral, with the opposition party lambasting the roads agency over its failure to deliver the full e-toll contract as promised as well as its spending of millions of Rands on advertising to promote the controversial project.

"Good luck to them on their fishing expedition. We know we have done everything by the book," said Sanral's Vusi Mona.

Earlier this month, the DA confirmed it would receive its own copy of the contract which it believed will shed light on the monthly fees Sanral owes its subcontractors and suppliers.

However, the DA hasn't received the entire contract, with some documents missing.

The DA's shadow transport minister Ian Ollis said it's important for the public to understand what's contained in the contract.

"We need to understand what measures the contractor will put in place to recover the money that isn't paid or how exactly Sanral expects to deal with those administrative costs when it can cost up to R970 million a year. We want to understand exactly how that's going to operate."

Sanral has defended itself and said not delivering all of the documents relating to the project to the DA, was an oversight.

It said there's nothing sinister about the missing documents and it has promised to deliver them to the DA.

Sanral has also defended its advertising spend on the basis that the e-toll system is new and the public needs to learn more about it.

On Monday, the DA criticised the roads agency for spending millions on what it called "propaganda" for a system being rejected by society.

The roads agency told Eyewitness News advertising is part of any new programme.

But the DA claims it's a waste of money and has promised to search for a legal loophole which could enable government to pull out of the multibillion Rand project.

There's still no clarity on when e-tolling will launch, but the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear a challenge lead by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance against e-tolling next month.

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