Carlisle’s U-turn on Chapman’s Peak

Cape Times
January 12, 2012
By Melanie Gosling, Environment Writer

TRANSPORT MEC Robin Carlisle claims he does not want to see the free day pass on the Chapman’s Peak toll road scrapped – yet he has signed a legal document agreeing to do just that.

Carlisle wrote in the Cape Times yesterday: “I am not in favour of the removal of day passes, which can only be implemented with my concurrence.”

Discussions were under way with toll road concessionaires Entilini, he wrote, to find a solution in the best interests of all, “particularly the people of Cape Town to whom the mountains belong”.

However, in the amended concession agreement with toll road concessionaires Entilini, which Carlisle signed in March last year, clause 16.2 states: “The parties have agreed to discontinue the day-pass system simultaneously with the commission of the Hout Bay Toll Plaza. Upon the request of the concessionaire to the Province, that the Province obtain approval from the Minister of Transport for the removal of the day-pass system, the Province shall obtain such approval.”

The next clause says the scrapping of the day pass shall be effective from the date it is gazetted. Clause 16.4 says Entilini and the provincial government “will co-operate with each other to manage any public relations exercise required to deal with the discontinuation of the day-pass system”.

The agreement was signed by Carlisle, by Finance MEC Alan Winde and the head of the transport department, CJ Fourie. It was also signed by Entilini directors Robert Pomario and Enzo Menegaldo.

The comment about the day pass was made in an article Carlisle wrote in the Cape Times yesterday, in which he hit out against the public outcry over the proposed two-storey office to be built for Entilini on Table Mountain National Parks land on the famous scenic drive. He criticised the Cape Times for saying there had been no public announcement that park land was to be used, and wrote that “nothing is being done now that was not known before” through an extensive public participation programme.

Hout Bay Residents’ Association chairman Len Swimmer said yesterday this was not true. He said during the public consultation “no mention was ever made of an office building on Table Mountain National Park land, only on the road reserve”.

The residents are now taking legal action, saying it is unlawful to build on park land.

Carlisle wrote that the cost of the development was “capped at R54m, but is likely to be less”. He said the office building and the toll booths would cost “about R13m” and the roadworks R10m. He said other costs were R6m for electronic equipment, R2.5m for electricity and lighting and R1m for landscaping.

However, engineering company Haw and Inglis wrote in July last year that the rough cost breakdown was R27.7m for the office building and toll booths, and R5m for roadworks and infrastructure. Other costs the company gave were R5.7m for design fees, R8.3m for the toll collection system; R3m for slope stabilisation; R1.8m for external lighting; R1.2m for landscaping and R300 000 to remove the temporary toll plaza. The total is just over R53m.

Carlisle said Hout Bay residents who “now express such outrage about the plaza” had not lodged an appeal when it was approved in 2005.

Yesterday Swimmer said: “We did, and our appeal against it was taken, by hand, by Keith Fawcett, to Pretoria and delivered to the department. We never got a response to it.”

Carlisle dismissed as “fairy tales” residents’ beliefs that the office was a luxury and in part designed for parties. However, he did not say in what way the many offices, the boardroom, large meeting room, kitchen areas, service area with counter and sliding doors on to covered and open terraces, were an essential part of a toll booth office.



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