NATIONAL NEWS - After two years of failed attempts to get information about the three national concessionaire routes N1, N3, and N4 operated by Bakwena, Trans African Concessions (TRAC) and N3 Toll Concession N3TC the Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has turned to the courts for help.
The organisation is taking the South African National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) to court as it seeks to get documents that contain the terms and conditions of 30-year road contracts between Sanral and the companies.
The contracts also known as private-public partnerships (PPPs) relate to road construction, maintenance and revenue collection on the routes.
Outa legal project manager Brendan Slade said it was in the public interest that Sanral is transparent about the “build-operate-transfer” contracts with the three concessionaires.
“The contracts entail that Sanral transfers road assets to the concessionaires for a period of 30 years, during which the concessionaires are responsible for road maintenance, construction and upgrade projects to improve road infrastructure. Upon completion of these projects, the roads are transferred back to Sanral, purportedly in an upgraded state,” reads the statement.
“In addition to improving the road infrastructure, the concessionaires manage toll plazas and off-ramps and collect the toll fees levied.”
Slade said Outa first submitted a request for access to information (PAIA) to Sanral back in July 2019.
“We requested information that includes copies of all annexures and addenda relating to the concession contracts and complete financial statements of the concessionaires for each fiscal year from 1999 to present. To date, Sanral has failed to furnish Outa with this information, warranting Outa to approach the court.”
Court proceedings were supposed to be heard on the unopposed roll in the Pretoria high court today. However, Sanral’s lawyers indicated very late yesterday it had decided to oppose the request.