The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has dismissed as “grossly misleading” statements by the City of Cape Town, Right2Know and others that it will implement electronic tolling in Cape Town, as it has in Gauteng.
“Whereas in Gauteng we went out to borrow money in order to build the road, with Cape Town we will be appointing a concessionaire on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis,” said Sanral’s head of communications Vusi Mona.
“This means the concessionaire will design, finance, operate and maintain the road, returning it to the state in a specified condition at the concession period.”
“There will be conventional toll plazas along the N1 and N2. The electronic or automated method of payment, is a possible future consideration dependant on traffic volumes,” he said.
Sanral said that the upgrading of the Western Cape’s N1-N2 Winelands highway road network is a major infrastructural investment.
“It is always Sanral’s aim that the users of the new tolled facility, be it a brand new road or an upgraded existing road, will derive a real benefit when using that facility in comparison to what it was,” Mona said. “Doing so, requires funding.”
“Sanral’s allocation from the fiscus is about R10 billion per annum for the entire national road network and the N1/N2 Winelands project requires just about that amount,” said Mona.
“We obviously can’t allocate our entire budget to national roads that pass through one city. The fiscus is under pressure and we have to find alternative ways of financing road infrastructure.”
Sanral said that the projects will create 5 000 jobs during the construction phase of the N1-N2 Winelands project. Of the jobs created the majority will be for unskilled labour which will benefit members of impoverished communities.