Pretoria – There have been claims that “The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is showing no signs of warming to an offer made by Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille to discuss alternatives to tolling the N1 and N2 highways”. Contrary to this statement, it was SANRAL that made an offer to the City.
SANRAL has always engaged with Mayor de Lille, and took the initiative of writing to her on 19 July 2015 asking to resolve without litigation. The truth of the matter is that she has no interest in the project, and is intent on dragging the agency to court. This was demonstrated by her response, which was that she would not agree to a meeting unless we accept her pre-conditions which included an undertaking that we would abandon tolling and pay the City’s legal costs. “We explained that SANRAL would not be held to ransom by unreasonable and unethical demands. There has been no further response from her to date,” said SANRAL’s General Manager of Communications Vusi Mona.
SANRAL has always negotiated and engaged the City at every stage of the project. But the City was not willing to listen and ignored everything proposed by the roads agency. Sadly, it is the road users who are still affected by decisions taken by the Mayor and the City.
The City is misleading people, and presenting SANRAL as a monster that wants to rip them off financially. It must be stated that the City has not offered any practical alternative to resolve the funding mechanisms for the City’s highly congested freeways.
Sanral had a similar unfortunate experience with the City in connection with the people from the Nzamo informal settlement. The City in its wisdom decided to link the homeless with the Winelands project. Why link the provision of services to the homeless with the Winelands project? One can only guess.
“It is regrettable that Mayor De Lille has chosen to be the champion of this malicious approach, instead of becoming part of the solution and showing exemplary leadership,” said Mona.
SANRAL will continue to do everything in its power to find an amicable solution, and we call upon the City of Cape Town to play its part.