The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Councillor Brett Herron, has written a formal letter to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele to inform him that the City has declared an intergovernmental dispute with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) regarding its plans to toll the N1 and N2 between the City and the Cape Winelands.

The City is opposed to these plans and has declared the dispute in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework, Act 13 of 2005 as it believes that both the Environmental Impact Assessment and Intent to Toll processes were flawed and that SANRAL has not addressed the City’s concerns.

The City has four primary concerns about the tolling of the two main routes into Cape Town:

  • The socio-economic impacts of tolling have not been adequately assessed and were not considered by the Minister of Environmental Affairs when he granted an environmental authorisation for the tolling of the N1 and N2.
  • The broad impact on the metropolitan road network has not been assessed and viable alternatives to tolling have not been considered.
  • The tolling on the N1 and N2 is likely to divert traffic onto municipal roads which will impact on the capacity, operation and maintenance required on these roads. This will stretch the City’s limited budget for road maintenance and construction as SANRAL has not committed any funding to cover the increased maintenance costs.
  • The City’s Policy on the Provision of Road Tolls indicates that tolling should not be used as a means of funding road construction and maintenance within the City’s boundaries because it is not cost effective and is inequitable.

According to Councillor Herron the City had no choice but to declare an official dispute, as all repeated attempts to engage SANRAL regarding this matter have failed.

“As the authority that will be directly impacted by this proposed tolling, the City commented extensively during all the phases of both the Environmental Impact Assessment and Intent to Toll public participation process and engaged with SANRAL at various intergovernmental meetings held during 2010 to raise our concerns. We also tried to engage them on a number of occasions this year in attempts to resolve our dispute. SANRAL refused to discuss the City’s concerns and indicated that they are only willing to explain their policies and strategies. Our letter to the Minister is our last attempt at resolving this dispute before taking legal action,” said Herron.

In a letter that was sent to the SANRAL CEO last week, the City requested an urgent meeting with SANRAL and also requested them to postpone the awarding of the tender for the N1/N2 toll road project to allow for further consultation between the City and SANRAL regarding the City’s concerns.

“The City hopes that this dispute can be resolved amicably, but we are going to take any necessary steps to prevent the toll roads from being constructed without the City’s concerns being adequately addressed. Cape Town residents should not be compelled to subsidise the entire N1/N2 Winelands toll route. It is inequitable. The additional costs imposed on road users within the City will far exceed the limited benefit they receive.”

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Issued by: Communication Department, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member: Transport, Roads and Stormwater, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1298 or Cell: 082 518 3264