‘Sanral isn’t broke’

2013-07-25 16:44

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) denied that it had run out of money to the extent that investors were reluctant to provide more funding.

“Reports that Sanral is broke are factually incorrect. Sanral operates two portfolios – the toll roads and nontoll roads,” spokesperson Vusi Mona said in a statement.

“The nontoll portfolio consists of funds from the national fiscus, received from the treasury, at around R10 billion per annum.

“These funds are used by Sanral to manage its nontoll network, which accounts for 84% (16 584km) of the total national road network of 19 704km.”

Mona conceded that funds were depleted in the agency’s toll portfolio.

“With regard to the toll portfolio, Sanral has almost totally depleted its available cash. Sanral is not able to fund itself through the capital markets under the present circumstances,” he said.

Independent Newspapers daily financial supplement Business Report reported today that the agency had run out of money, with debt totalling R65 billion, including interest.

The agency reportedly borrowed R20 billion from local and foreign investors to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Plans to introduce e-tolling on these freeways sparked an outcry, and the project still has to be implemented.

The DA said Sanral’s financial problems provided further reason for it to abandon e-tolling.

“The DA reiterates its call for President Jacob Zuma not to sign the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill [e-tolling bill] into law,” spokesperson Ian Ollis said.

“If signed into law, the bill will give Sanral carte blanche to erect tolls around the country without public and parliamentary consultation,” he said.

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