Blame game by the City of Cape Town against SANRAL reaches a new low

The latest statement by the City of Cape Town blaming SANRAL for using the Cape High Court Interdict as an excuse not to do repair work on the N1 and N2, is outrageous, shameful and certainly not in the interests of road users in the Western Cape.

Vusi Mona, General Manager: Communications of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) says what makes the statement of Clr Brett Herron even more scandalous is that all parties yesterday agreed to a plan to improve safety on the N2 in view of the increase in criminal activity.

“There is nothing cheap about this so-called publicity stunt unless one regards human life as cheap.”

Mona stressed that the City of Cape Town’s court interdict against SANRAL prevents any works which fall under the scope of the N1 N2 Winelands Toll Project, from proceeding.

“Why should road-users be held at ransom by the City of Cape Town?”

Mona pointed out that much-needed upgrades including the street lighting on the N2, which was to form part of the N1 N2 Winelands Toll Project, could therefore not proceed.

He points out that Clr Herron does not understand the difference between maintenance and new installations, upgrades and infrastructure:

“The implications of the City’s actions are in fact extremely damaging and far-reaching. SANRAL’s plans to upgrade the N1 and N2 – which includes vital infrastructure such as street lighting, a centre median barrier and realignment of the N2 through Somerset West – have for all intents and purposes been halted by the City’s legal action.

These are the simple facts. We can see the carnage and severity of crashes from the Freeway Management System CCTV footage, much of which could have been prevented through the provision of appropriate road infrastructure.”

Mona clarified that nine kilometres of the road are the responsibility of the Cape Province, with 17km being looked after by SANRAL.

He said that over the past five years there had been more than 10,500 crashes on Cape Town’s busiest highways, 528 involving pedestrians and 44% resulting in death. SANRAL spends about R250 000 a month just to fix vandalised fences while thieves also targeted street lights.

“The question must be asked, how many more lives should be lost. Cape Town is a growing City, with growing traffic demands

The reality is that safe and appropriate road infrastructure is simply not keeping pace with this demand. Instead the City has opted for a legal battle that only benefits short term political ambitions. The City’s interdict against SANRAL is therefore ill-conceived and most regrettably, many road users will continue to pay the ultimate price for this.

Goodwill, common sense and sticking to the facts of a matter are vital ingredients in any attempt at solving a problem when different parties are involved. Unfortunately, neither is present in the approach of the City of Cape Town on the vexed question of road safety along major routes in the province.”