Winelands tolls 'won't hurt the poor'

Johannesburg - A proposed toll system in the Winelands in the Western Cape will not impact on the poor, the SA National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) said on Sunday.

"The positioning of the toll plazas are such those communities will be able to go around them," Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said in a statement.

He said therefore that allegations - suggesting communities in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha would be negatively affected by the project for the N1 and N2 in the area - were "grossly misleading".

Mona said that his organisation's plans involved spending about R10 billion to upgrade parts of these highways and also to build a second bore hole at Huguenot Tunnel, costing about R10 billion.

The City of Cape Town is currently seeking an urgent court interdict to prevent Sanral proceeding with the toll project.

It first wants a court review over the project's legality to be completed.

Mona criticised, what he claimed to be, "the poor being used as a rented crowd" outside the Cape High Court earlier this week.

The toll project has been in the pipeline for nearly a decade.

The proposed concession route along the N1 extends from west of the R300 interchange through to Sandhills. The N2 portion of the proposed toll road concession extends from west of the R300 to Bot River.

According to a diagram on Sanral's website, 106km of the N1 and 70km of the N2 would be tolled should the project go ahead.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday that it was convinced that a fuel levy would cover the costs of road maintenance.

"There is no need for the wholesale construction of toll roads," said MP Ian Ollis.

- Sapa

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