The Constitutional Court of South Africa has officially ruled against Sanral’s plans to implement its e-tolls systems on Western Cape highways.
This means the state-owned enterprise will have to start a public participation process if it wants to go ahead with its plans to toll parts of the N1 and N2 in the Western Cape.
“As reaffirmed by our new CEO, we will continue to engage the City of Cape Town to find a solution to the growing congestion crisis in the Winelands area. Discussions with the City have already started,” said Sanral’s head of communications, Vusi Mona.
However Mona highlighted that the Constitutional Court judgement would not stop Sanral in its next course of action – rolling out e-tolls to the rest of the country.
“The roads agency is not only pursuing engagements with the Western Cape and City of Cape Town but with other municipalities and provinces such as eThekwini, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State to unlock economic growth potential and contribute to regional development. This is the new perspective within the roads agency which its recently appointed CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma seeks to ingrain.
“Our constitution requires of us, as the different spheres of government, to work together in order to deliver services to citizens,” Mona said.
In an emailed statement to BusinessTech, Sanral clarified that the court’s judgement dealt only with the N1 and N2 roads in the Western Cape and ruled on the question whether the declaration to toll was administratively correct. “It has nothing to do with toll roads in any other part of the country,” it said.
The roads agency stressed that it did not state that the court’s decision would not stop it from “rolling out e-tolls to the rest of the country” as reported above.
“Sanral has not announced any intentions to introduce tolling on any other road under its management, and should it do so in future, it will follow the prescripts of the applicable legislation,” the road agency said.
“In the spirit of cooperative governance Sanral will continue to engage with the City of Cape Town to find a solution to the growing problem of congestion in the Winelands area.”
It said that new CEO, Skhumbuzo Macozoma, has also indicated on a number of occasions that Sanral will engage with provinces, metros and municipalities on how roads can contribute to the unlocking of the economic growth potential of regions.
“We also want to point out that the term “e-tolling” in the South African context refers to a system of overhead gantries which records the tolling transactions of registered vehicles passing through the network. This system is only in place on the Gauteng Freeway system.
“Unfortunately the terminology has become confused in the popular and social media,” Sanral said.