Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has denied claims by SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) that it failed to respond to the transport minister's decision to convert the N1 and N2 highways between the city and the Cape Winelands into toll roads.
“The city wrote to Sanral during the intent-to-toll process requesting that its concerns be addressed and stating that if this was not done, the city would consider legal action," the city's mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater, Brett Herron
, said on Thursday.
Sanral's claims that the city was extensively engaged in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, and that the city did not appeal the decision, were also untrue.
"The first decision in the EIA process was made on 30 September 2003," Herron said.
"The city was dissatisfied with the decision and did appeal. The appeal process was finalised in 2008, but the city's appeal was unsuccessful.
"However, the city was informed that, as per the agreement entered into between Sanral and the department of environmental affairs, the socioeconomic impacts of tolling would be considered during the intent-to-toll process."
There was also an indication from the EIA practitioner acting on behalf of Sanral that there would be further talks between the city and itself regarding costs and benefits resulting from the tolls.
"It appeared premature to institute review proceedings at that stage," Herron said.
The city wrote to Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele to inform him that an intergovernmental dispute had been declared with Sanral over its plans for the toll road.
Sanral said this week there was a "dispute" between it and the city over the proposed toll road.
"Sanral has engaged with the City of Cape Town over nine years on this project," the agency said.
The city was given an opportunity to participate, prior to Ndebele's decision to declare the road a toll road.
"Sanral contends that there is no dispute between the city and itself and that it remains open for further engagement with the City of Cape Town."