The Automobile Association (AA) has welcomed the decision by the Western Cape High Court to set aside the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) Cape Winelands Tolling Project.
The Association also applauds the decision by Judge Ashley Binns-Ward to set aside then Transport Minister Jeff Radebe’s 2008 decision to declare sections of the N1 and N2 as toll roads.
“These decisions are a victory for consumers and motorists in Cape Town. We remain convinced that tolling roads is not a viable option for revenue collection and again reiterate our position that a dedicated and transparent road fund will be more equitable and supportive,” the AA commented.
The AA further welcomes the decision in light of the problems associated with e-tolling for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) where a significant amount of users refuse to register with SANRAL or pay invoiced tolls. The GFIP has attracted ongoing public protest and a similar scenario was likely to develop for the Cape Winelands Project.
We believe the Cape Winelands Project, as with the GFIP, would not enjoy the acceptance and support of the motoring public and that the additional administration required to manage this civil disobedience would be overbearing and unsustainable.
We furthermore believe this decision sends a clear message to SANRAL and the Department of Transport that the motoring public in South Africa is not prepared to accept this mechanism for road improvement funding, and alternative options must be thoroughly considered.