Cape Town – The City of Cape Town will appeal a court order that effectively seals most documents ahead of a review hearing on the N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway project, it said on Friday.
Transport mayoral committee member Brett Herron said the order barred the city from placing important information on the proposed tolling in the public domain.
“In fact, it prohibits the publication of the most significant parts of the city’s supplementary papers – the toll fees, the total expected revenue, the proportion of the profits, the underestimate of construction costs, and the cost-benefit ratio.”
The supplementary papers included affidavits by a number of experts who evaluated tolling information from the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
Herron said the order was unclear as to whether they could make these opinions public or whether they would be held in contempt of court.
The city believed an appeal had a reasonable chance of success and it would apply for leave to appeal against the order granted in the Western Cape High Court.
Last month, Judge Ashley Binns-Ward dismissed applications by Sanral and its preferred bidder, Protea Parkway Consortium (PPC).
The parties had applied to the court to prevent the city from filing its supplementary founding papers in an open court.
Sanral had wanted the relevant parts to be redacted, while PPC wanted certain parts to be redacted and placed in a “confidential” file out of public reach.
Despite dismissing the applications, Binns-Ward made orders that effectively kept certain information under wraps until the court started to review Sanral’s decision to toll the roads. No review date had yet been set.
In May last year, the city was granted an interim interdict to halt the proposed project, which would remain in force until the review hearing.
The proposed concession route along the N1 extends from west of the R300 interchange to Sandhills. The N2 portion of the proposed toll road concession extends from west of the R300 to Bot River.
About 180km of highway in the province will be tolled should the project go ahead.