Justice Project South Africa says that it is no surprise – and no loss – that Sanral decided not to make a presentation to the e-toll review panel.
“It is not in the least bit atypical for Sanral to disrespect the public, any form of legitimate process, and to actively seek ways to continue to outwardly mislead the public, or anyone else for that matter,” said JPSA head, Howard Dembovsky.
On Thursday (4 September 2014) Sanral said that it would not be making representations to the panel, adding that all documents regarding the whole process around the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project are publicly available.
“The roads agency is of the opinion that its participation in the review process would be inappropriate as the matter had been decided in relevant structures – the Cabinet approved the matter in 2007,” it said in a statement.
Dembovsky said that the group’s blunt statement and refusal to engage with the panel demonstrates disrespect for everyone concerned, and shows that it missed the point of the panel.
However, ultimately, it was no loss to the process, the JPSA head said.
“The participation of Sanral in the hearings would be meaningless in any event, since it is quite clear that Sanral has no knowledge of or desire to know about the financial hardships ordinary citizens face,” Dembovsky said.
“It’s not a train smash that Sanral is refusing to participate in the process. To the contrary, Sanral is doing everyone a huge favour by failing to avail itself of yet another opportunity to mislead everyone.”
The e-toll panel has thus far heard presentations from many concerned oragnisations, speaking about the wider impact of the controversial system.
Most presentations have spoken out against the system, including those from JPSA, OUTA, Fedusa, Busa, and Nactu.
The groups have been calling for a fuel levy to be implemented as an alternative funding mechanism.
Consulting Engineers SA (Cesa) spoke out in support of the system.