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Capetonians breathe sigh of relief as highways won't be tolled

The WC High Court today set aside the controversial N1 and N2 Winelands toll project in Cape Town.

FILE. The City of Cape Town challenged the validity and lawfulness of a series of decisions which led to the project being given the green light in 2008. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Tolling sections of the N1 and N2 highways will not be a reality anytime soon.

The Western Cape High Court today set aside the approvals that would enable the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to proceed with the Winelands Tolling Project.

Today the court ruled in the city's favour by setting aside both the declaration to toll and the Transport Minister's approval of the project.

The City of Cape Town challenged the validity and lawfulness of a series of decisions which led to the project being given the green light in 2008.

Should Sanral want to press ahead, it would have to start the process of getting approval from the minister of transport all over again, which includes a public participation process.

Sanral's Tiago Massingue said, "That means the public won't be able to benefit from the upgrades we will start initiating and that will add more costs to the economy."

City officials are vehemently opposed to tolling because of the financial impact it would have on the poor.

The roads agency is considering its legal options after the Western Cape High Court ruled against the Winelands Tolling project.

It's warned that if the project does not go ahead now, the highways won't be upgraded for at least two decades, if at all.