The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the assurance by Sanral that there will be no E-tolling in the Cape, but is still opposed to any form of toll roads within the City limits.
“We are also concerned that, if the N1 and N2 tolls roads go ahead, toll fees will probably be low to start with and then will be increased regularly as we have seen with other toll roads,” said Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.
She said the Chamber would watch any future increases very carefully. The major cost for toll roads was the actual construction cost. This was usually financed by some form of bond or loan and repayments would not vary much over the 20 or 30 years of the loan so there would be little justification for the kind of annual increases we have seen for the Huguenot Tunnel and Chapman’s Peak.
According to Sanral the “payways” would be built by a contractor who would raise his own finance, manage the project and then transfer it free of charge to Sanral at the end of the concession period. “This is a much better way of building toll roads but the question is: who will fix the toll fees and ensure that the public is not exploited?” said Peter Hugo, chairman of the Chamber’s Transport Portfolio committee.
“Unfortunately Sanral have set very bad examples by charging exorbitant toll fees long after the construction costs of some of their projects have been recovered. They have set some very tempting precedents for the future operators.”
“I fear we are going to end up with another monopoly and ineffective price regulation," Hugo concluded.