Cape Town toll road roll-out to go ahead

Posted On Tuesday, 14 October 2003 02:00 Published by
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The department of environmental affairs and tourism is pressing ahead with plans to build toll plazas on the N1 and N2 freeways into Cape Town, even though the proposals have been condemned by local authorities and the business community.

October 14, 2003

By Edward West

Cape Town - The department of environmental affairs and tourism is pressing ahead with plans to build toll plazas on the N1 and N2 freeways into Cape Town, even though the proposals have been condemned by local authorities and the business community.

Opponents still have until the end of the month to lodge a formal appeal.

The Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry said yesterday the department had taken a decision to authorise the SA Roads Agency to go ahead with the reconstruction and upgrading of sections of the highway, following the receipt of a favourable environmental impact report.

The section of N1 between its intersection with the R300 and Sandhills will be tolled, while the N2 will be tolled between the R300 and Bot River near Hermanus. This will involve constructing a new alignment of the road through the Helderberg.

Albert Schuitmaker, the director of the chamber, said his group was dead against these toll roads because communities along the routes were opposed to the idea. The roads would affect the winelands and fruit growers in the Elgin area by increasing the cost of trucking export products to the harbour.

Tony Ehrenreich, the spokesperson for Cosatu in the Western Cape, said they too opposed the tolls, because they would increase the price of taxis and the cost of seeking a job in the city.

He said tolls were not acceptable on existing roads, even if they were improved, because funding for roads was already collected in the fuel price.

Hennie Roux, the director of public services for the Overstrand Municipality, which covers the Gansbaai, Hermanus, Hangklip and Kleinmond areas, said if a toll road was put in place along the N2, the alternative route would have to be the R44 road through the residential areas of Kleinmond, Betty's Bay and Rooi Els, and over a mountain pass that was clearly not constructed for heavy vehicles.  


A toll road on the N2 would affect the growing number of commuters who travelled to Cape Town from Hermanus every day. Higher transport costs and delays would impact on the price of goods in the Overstrand region, he said.

Frank van der Velde, the executive support for councillor Daniele Landingwe of the Cape Town municipality, said he could not disclose their view as the issue would be discussed at a mayoral meeting in two days.

However, the council had previously advocated the introduction of a municipal fuel tax to pay for roads, he said.

"There is enabling legislation that could allow us to do so," he said. Such a tax was more efficient than toll roads, because toll road operators needed a cut of the monies collected. They had to employ people and build infrastructure to collect the funds.

Schuitmaker said it was difficult to justify expenditure on selected roads while there were more important priorities such as improvements to public transport.

"What will be achieved if we improve the N1, but we still have bottlenecks like the Koeberg interchange?"

The chamber supported a fuel tax.

"Every petrol station could become a toll plaza at no extra cost and motorists would contribute every time they filled up," Schuitmaker said.


Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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