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Victory for City of CT as high court rules against toll project

The city challenged the lawfulness of the go-ahead for the N1 and N2 Winelands toll project.

The Western Cape High Court set aside the controversial N1 and N2 Winelands Toll project in Cape Town on 30 September 2015. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has set aside the controversial N1 and N2 Winelands toll project in Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town went to court to challenge the validity and lawfulness of a series of decisions that led to the project getting the green light, after successfully interdicting South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from proceeding with construction in 2013.

Today the court ruled in the city's favour.

The city had to convince the court that it was in the interest of justice to condone its nearly four-year delay in initiating legal action against roads agency Sanral.

Judge Ashley Binns-Ward refused to condone the city's delay in challenging the environmental minister's decision to back the project.

The city's Brett Herron is calling today's judgment a victory.

"The first response when the condonation of the delay to review and set aside the environmental decision was refused, obviously I was concerned by what was going to happen next, but it is a huge relief."

CITY WELCOMES RULING

The City has welcomed today's judgment on the Winelands Tolling Project as a resounding victory for residents.

The declaration to toll sections of the N1 and N2 was published in 2008.

If Sanral wants to push ahead with tolling, the whole process which includes public participation must start afresh.

Herron says the city has been vindicated.

"The city is opposed to tolling the N1 and N2 for all the reasons we shared with the court over the last few years and if Sanral wishes to appeal the judgement then we will continue to fight this."

The roads agency is considering its legal options.