Sanral trying to recoup e-toll losses - Cape Chamber | Fin24
 
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Sanral trying to recoup e-toll losses - Cape Chamber

Sep 09 2015 21:30
Dane McDonald

Cape Town – The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday accused Sanral of using the Huguenot Tunnel as an excuse to recoup losses from its e-tolling campaign in Gauteng.

"It seems they need the cash now and can't wait for their new tolls," said president of the Chamber, Janine Myburgh.

Sanral’s e-tolling campaign in Gauteng has met stiff opposition and declining revenue.

Sanral on Tuesday admitted that it was non-compliant in certain aspects of its Huguenot Tunnel operation and said it required R1.5bn to address safety concerns.

Sanral project manager, Tiago Massigue, told Fin24 that should the upgrades not be implemented in one year’s time, the tunnel may have to be shut down.

The Chamber said Sanral's move to sell the "right to taxation" to its preferred bidder, Protea Parkways Consortium, raised "serious moral and legal problems".

It criticised Sanral's claims that it operated on the "user pays" principal.

"In the case of the tunnel, the users had already paid for it and to continue tolling it amounted to a new form of taxation," the Chamber said in a statement.

Myburgh said the tunnel had reached a high level of profitability, despite Sanral’s claims in 2014 that it needed to be subsidised with income from the future N1 and N2 toll roads.

The operation and upgrades to the Huguenot Tunnel have been incorporated into the broader Cape Winelands toll project.

Regional manager for Sanral, Kobus van der Walt, told Fin24 on Tuesday that the proposal for Sanral to fund the project in its entirety was uninformed.

"The initial cost of works would be R10bn, which is just R2bn short of Sanral’s total allocation per annum," he said.

 

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