Sanral defends confidential e-toll contracts

"The pricing of the ORT [open road tolling] contract with ETC as well as related information … has been available on the Sanral website since June 2012," the South African National Roads Agency Limited said on Wednesday.

"The information requested by Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) is and remains the intellectual property of third party organisations."

Contractual undertakings of confidentiality were given to these parties by Sanral when the contracts were concluded in terms of standard practice.

Outa on Monday said it had to sign a confidentiality agreement to get information on the contracts. This was the only way Outa was able to get access to the ETC contract to prepare for its court case. The Star newspaper reported that parts of the high court review of the e-tolling project in November could be held in camera because of the confidentiality agreement.

Last month, the Constitutional Court overturned an interim order which put a hold on the e-tolling project.

The Constitutional Court found the North Gauteng High Court had not considered the separation of powers between the high court and the executive.

On April 28 the high court granted Outa an interdict, ruling that a full review needed to be carried out before electronic tolling could be put into effect.

The interdict prevented Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of the review. Sanral and the national treasury appealed against the court order, and said the delays prevented the payment of the R21-billion debt incurred during the project.

The review was expected take place in the high court in Pretoria in November. Sanral said the legal process in which the contracts were being used was currently underway.

"Sanral remains concerned about on-going statements made in the media about various aspects of this matter, which appear to be designed to cast doubt on the process and litigate the matter rather in a court of public opinion, as part of an ongoing fund-raising exercise," it said.

This undermined the court process and the constitutional rights of those involved. – Sapa

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