‘City of CT’s argument on toll project misconceived’

The city claims the N1 and N2 Winelands project will have a negative impact on the regional economy.

FILE: The face off between Sanral and he City of Cape Town continues Western Cape High Court. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The ministers of transport and environmental affairs have argued that the City of Cape Town's legal challenge against the N1 and N2 Winelands Toll Project is based on a misconception about what the law actually says.

The ministers and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) are opposing the city's application for a review of the project in the Western Cape High Court.

The city claims tolling will have a negative impact on the regional economy and the poor.

In court papers the two ministers, who are the second and third respondents in the matter, have defended their roles in getting the project off the ground.

The city claimed the transport minister approved the declaration to toll on the basis that Sanral had complied with certain "procedural steps", but that he failed to consider the socio-economic impact of tolling and what the public would have to pay.

But the respondents' legal team contends the minister does not have to take into account the actual toll tariff in order to make a decision to declare a toll road.

In an affidavit, then Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said he was satisfied that Sanral had conducted a thorough public consultation process as required by law.

He also visited the site and considered the upgrades to be "pressing and urgent."

The hearing will continue on Monday.