Arguments against WC toll project to be wrapped up

The City of Cape Town is battling Sanral in the Western Cape High Court over the project.

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

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town's legal team is wrapping up its arguments in its case against

South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) today, following a week of oral submissions in the Western Cape High Court.

The city is challenging the validity and lawfulness of a series of decisions that led to the approval of tolls for the N1 and N2 highways.

In 2013, Sanral was interdicted from going ahead with the project pending the finalisation of the municipality's review application.

Sanral argued that tolling is the only option to fund upgrades to the N1 and N2 highways, because the alternative would be to abandon revamping roads.

Counsel for the City of Cape Town Geoff Budlender, yesterday argued decision makers did not consider whether tolling would be financially and socially viable.

Budlender said the transport minister was materially misinformed about the cost of the project when he approved the declaration to toll the highways.

He added the transport minister was told the upgrades would cost around R7.9 billion in 2008, but the actual cost today is estimated at R59 billion.

The decision to declare the N1 and N2 highways as toll roads was published in the government gazette in September 2008.

Sanral argued the city cannot fully explain why it waited nearly four years to take legal action.