Civil rights body – the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) – is agitating for South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to account for an excess payment of R10 billion for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).
During a press conference at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Outa stated that the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project which Sanral spent R17.9 billion on, could have cost between R8bn and R9bn.
Wayne Duvenage, Outa chairperson remarked that the organization desires a corrective action on the excess payment. And, will be writing to relevant bodies in order to direct Sanral’s management attention towards acting in the best interests of the public on the issue.
According to Duvenage, Outa will be writing to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown so as to get them start a commission of inquiry into the excessive costs of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project .
Adding that they will be asking of the Ministers to commission inquires into the general high cost of road construction in South Africa over the past decade, Outa indicated that they want a scrutiny of the R15 billion costs out-mapped for the 80km N3 Cedara to Durban freeway project.
Also, they will table complaints with the Public Protector and Treasury.
To Duvenage, information on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project is been deliberately withheld from the public.
The chairperson argued that information from other roadworks projects by Sanral is available. With that, He pointed out that the unavailability of information related to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project is a smear on Sanral’s transparency and, that it’s outrageous to pay almost R18 billion for the project.
Stressing that the price tag of the project is excessive, Duvenage divulged that Outa consulted experts like road construction engineers and quantity surveyors to arrive at the fair value of the project.
More-so, the organization collected further information from other similar road projects across the globe to substantiate its claims.
Asserting that Sanral’s debt is increasing, Duvenage said: “It is not our intention to see Sanral fold. It is our intention to see Sanral run transparently and efficiently and professionally for and with the best interests of the public,” added Duvenage.