Supreme Court of Appeals dismisses SANRAL’s appeal against Western Cape High Court ruling on Cape Town tolling

22 September 2016

Cullinan & Associates, as appointed attorneys for the City of Cape Town in this matter, have successfully represented the City in both the Western Cape High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeals. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling which will be of benefit to all City residents and road users.

A full bench of the SCA upheld the judgment in the Winelands tolling matter that was handed down by Justices Ashley Binns-Ward and Nolwazi Boqwana of the Western Cape High Court on 30 September 2015.

The SCA rejected the evidence by Mr Alli that the SANRAL Board had made a decision in 2008 to seek approval for the declaration of a toll road. According to Judge Navsa, writing for a unanimous Court ‘there was no documentary or other corroboration for his assertion that the Board had made a decision and it appears that his statement that the Board was kept apprised of the Project and the application to the Transport Minister was deliberately obfuscatory.’ (SCA judgment para 95)

Judge Navsa stated: ‘The failure by the Board to make a decision to seek approval for the tolling of the roads was a fundamental and egregious flaw. The Project was one of national importance involving costs that run into billions of Rands. It implicates national policy and impacts on the National Treasury and industry and the citizens of the province and the country. It required serious and informed deliberation which, as demonstrated above, was sorely lacking.’ (SCA judgment para 101)

The SCA said the subsequent attempt by SANRAL to pass a resolution in 2014 was ‘suggestive of an appreciation by Mr Alli that the City had uncovered a fatal flaw in the process and a sense of desperation on his part to try to recover the situation’ (SCA judgment para 98). The SCA reviewed and set aside the decision of the SANRAL Board in 2014 to declare certain sections of the N1 and N2 as toll roads.

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