Despite e-toll saga, Sanral won't go down the drain - minister

Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi. (Photo: GCIS)
Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi. (Photo: GCIS)

Pretoria – Despite challenges the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) is facing over e-tolls in Gauteng, the entity is performing well nationally, said Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.

The minister was delivering the performance review, based on the 2015/16 year, of 12 entities which fall within the department. These include Prasa, the Road Accident Fund and Airports Company South Africa, among others.

For the 2015/16 financial year, Sanral received an unqualified audit opinion for the 13th year in a row. It also attained 99% of its performance target.

“Sanral is doing relatively well in terms of its performance. All throughout the country it is making sure we have first-class roads… They are doing that efficiently,” said Maswanganyi. “I do not see them going down the drain.”

Maswanganyi said that he had met with Sanral to discuss its borrowing capacity. He is of the view that the agency is not in crisis.

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Earlier in June, ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Sanral’s credit rating, following the downgrade of the sovereign’s foreign and local debt ratings.

But Maswanganyi said that if there are issues at the entity, they will be attended to. He commended Sanral's leaders for running it under “difficult circumstances”, given the economic challenges, and met with management earlier this week to discuss how to overcome these challenges.

“With strategies agreed to and with Sanral working closely with National Treasury, Sanral will remain afloat,” he said. “The PIC (Public Investment Corporation) has never threatened to disinvest from Sanral. We are working very well with the PIC.”

He added that the decisions to be taken regarding Sanral will not make it vulnerable and unable to repay debt or service roads.

Sanral has also been focusing on its transformation objectives. “But more needs to be done to make sure there are more black contractors,” said Maswanganyi.

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