The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has said its application to the Western Cape High Court asking that certain aspects of the Winelands Toll project be kept confidential is unrelated to the so-called Secrecy Bill.
The controversial e-tolling project was launched in Gauteng province in December last year, but was the implementation of the N1 and N2 Winelands Toll Highway Project was halted in the Western Cape after the City of Cape Town applied to the High Court for an interdict.
SANRAL has now applied to the High Court for certain aspects of the project to be kept secret, but spokesperson Vusi Mona said this was normal practice and the agency was in any case accountable to Parliament.
“We have no desire to withhold information that would make it possible for us to account for stewardship of the resources under our control. In fact, we are required by Parliament to account for the manner we use public resources and have always done so without fail,” Mona said.
“Where plans have not yet been implemented or tenders not yet awarded, it is important that we respect the integrity of the tender process. We do so because the benefits attaching to such plans or tenders have not yet been secured and a competitive tender process may be at risk of being usurped by others if disclosed prematurely.”
SANRAL said it was important for the public to know the City of Cape Town had failed to explain to the public no tender has been awarded to any of the bidders, with the agency only at the preferred bidder stage of the process.
“More importantly, the minister of transport has not even declared the toll tariff. Accusations that SANRAL is refusing to disclose the tariffs are therefore at best, misguided and at worst, simply not true,” SANRAL said.
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