WC toll battle heats up

City of Cape Town says crucial project documents have not yet been handed over by Sanral.

FILE: DA members march against the controversial N1/N2 Toll Highway Project on 16 May 2013. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town says it's been trying to get hold of crucial documents from the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), which will form part of its bigger legal challenge against the N1/N2-Winelands toll highway project.

The municipality approached the Western Cape High Court in a bid to interdict Sanral from pushing ahead with plans to toll highways.

In May this year, the roads agency was ordered to hand over project documents, but the council was forced to go back to court after claiming the company had sent 'largely irrelevant' documents.

The city's Brett Herron says, "We've been trying to get the relevant documentation out of Sanral. Between May and November we've been engaging with Sanral around the provision of a full record of this document. Finally in November we drew a line in the sand because we cannot wait any longer."

Meanwhile, the plans by Sanral to toll the N1 and N2 Highways through the province's winelands could become an election issue.

The road agency's toll highway project will affect more than 170km of road.

Herron says the decision was taken without due process being followed.

"Our dispute with them is around the process they adopted which would bring these toll roads about. The declaration of the N1 and N2 as toll roads is what we're disputing and Sanral and the minister have followed an unlawful process to get there."

He says tolling the freeways will put a burden on the economy and hurt the poor.

GAUTENG TOLLS

E-tolls went live in Gauteng on Tuesday amid fresh calls for civil disobedience from civil society groups, unions, opposition parties and the public.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), a member of the tripartite alliance, called for further resistance to the Gauteng tolling projecting, labelling the launch day as ' Black Tuesday'.

The union once again called for mass mobilisation against the tolls.