Fin24

Motlanthe: Sanral debt repayments urgent

2012-05-31 12:58

Cape Town - The government is considering introducing an appropriations bill to give Sanral a cash injection to allow it to service its R20bn debt, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Thursday.

Failure to meet the SA National Roads Agency Ltd's debt repayments while the legal battle over e-tolling in Gauteng continued would have dire consequences for the roads agency and the country, he said.

"Government has to look at other ways of servicing that debt, which means taking away money from other allocations... hence the consideration of introducing this special bill to enable government to continue keeping Sanral in a healthy state of servicing the debt."

Motlanthe, who chairs an inter-ministerial committee handling the Sanral crisis, side-stepped a question on how much money would be allocated to the agency.

On April 28, the High Court in Pretoria handed down an order preventing Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.

Moody's Investors Service subsequently cut Sanral's credit rating status to Baa2 with a negative outlook.

Last week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to set aside the court order halting e-tolling.

Gordhan regarded his request as so urgent that he asked Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to convene the Constitutional Court during its annual July recess to hear the application.

Motlanthe argued, as Gordhan did in his application to the court, that High Court Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of separation of powers.

"We take the view that the court judge Prinsloo over-stepped the line in terms of essentially imposing a moratorium on the collection of fees, which has huge implications, because Sanral has contractual obligations," he said.

"If there is delay in payment, the period is reduced and so it creates very serious financial challenges to government as a whole."

Responding to a question, Motlanthe re-affirmed Cabinet's decision to impose the e-tolling system.

"As of now, the decision of Cabinet stands," he said.

Cabinet appointed the special committee a month ago to co-ordinate the government's response to the court judgment and ensure Sanral's financial stability was not compromised.

On the appropriations bill that was being considered, Gordhan told journalists at Thursday's briefing that this could cover the period up to the end of this year.

Moody's estimate was that Sanral would lose R270m a month for each month toll fees are not collected.

"That could increase, if you take certain operational costs and so on, by some estimates R500m to R600m per month.

"We could be looking at a period of between now to the end of the year, including any debt repayments that Sanral has to undertake, and we believe there is a payment due in January (next year) that will also have to be taken care of," he said.

The additional appropriations bill under consideration "will try to take the next period - of possibly six months or so - and give both Sanral and its debtors the assurance that government is setting aside the money to meet the cash flow requirements of Sanral."

Gordhan emphasised that the budget deficit would not be increased.

"Let me say very emphatically... that nothing that we do is going to increase our deficit. Everything... will be within the current fiscal envelope.

"The deficit remains intact and we'll have to find the money in some other way. That would mean either raising user-charges, or taxes, or 'haircuts' in government, or whatever the case might be. We'll see what the best option (will be)," he said.

Earlier, responding to a question, he said government did not know where the money would be found.

"We don't know yet; there is a range of options. All are being examined at the moment. We're trying to get a better handle on the numbers, so that we can make the judgement call."

He noted that parliament would soon go into recess, "so when we come back, we'll have a better idea of whether we need the additional bill, where we're going to get the money from, and what are the amounts which need to be allocated to Sanral". 

Comments
  • Maredi - 2012-05-31 13:11

    So, the Zulus are using Motlanthe to handle this hot potato so he can loose credibility in the eyes of the public before Mangaung.

  • jason.davidson.144 - 2012-05-31 13:12

    Raise taxes? Why should I have to pay for a road in another province? How about locate the 40bn lost to corruption and use that to settly the bill in full!

      Steve - 2012-05-31 14:03

      In 1982 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 1992 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 2002 South Africans drove on the left side of the road IN 2012 South Africans drive on what left of the road

      Steve - 2012-05-31 14:03

      In 1982 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 1992 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 2002 South Africans drove on the left side of the road IN 2012 South Africans drive on what left of the road

      Steve - 2012-05-31 14:03

      In 1982 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 1992 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 2002 South Africans drove on the left side of the road IN 2012 South Africans drive on what left of the road

      Steve - 2012-05-31 14:04

      In 1982 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 1992 South Africans drove on the left side of the road In 2002 South Africans drove on the left side of the road IN 2012 South Africans drive on what left of the road

      Brad - 2012-05-31 14:16

      I would rather take a National feul levy increase of 10cents per liter than paying R550 per month. Somewhere they messed up on their maths again. They say they will be losing R270mil, but it costs them 70% to get that money. So aren't they losing only R81 mil? I'm pretty sure the original amount the public was supposed to pay a month was R300mil?

  • gordon.turner.37 - 2012-05-31 13:12

    Suggestion: Stop pissing money away everywhere else and start using it for its intended purposes. Government could write a cheque for the roads in 5 minute flat if they fired the dead weight, cancelled the parties and made the fat cats drive toyotas.

  • gordon.turner.37 - 2012-05-31 13:13

    Suggestion: Stop p-sing money away everywhere else and start using it for its intended purposes. Government could write a cheque for the roads in 5 minute flat if they fired the dead weight, cancelled the parties and made the fat cats drive toyotas.

  • jason.davidson.144 - 2012-05-31 13:13

    Raise taxes? Why should I have to pay for a road in another province? How about locate the 40bn lost to corruption and use that to settly the bill in full!

      Tim - 2012-05-31 13:33

      Exactly! Why should the taxpayers across the country be burdened with the cost of a road they will probably never use. Toll the road so the users pay.

      denise.herbst.5 - 2012-05-31 18:33

      Lol Tim - if the e-toll here goes ahead it will be implemented everywhere! This can be a huge cash cow for the ANC so please dont think they wont e-toll every road they can find on a map if they get away with it once. This is not a provincial issue - it is a national issue!

      denise.herbst.5 - 2012-05-31 18:33

      Lol Tim - if the e-toll here goes ahead it will be implemented everywhere! This can be a huge cash cow for the ANC so please dont think they wont e-toll every road they can find on a map if they get away with it once. This is not a provincial issue - it is a national issue!

  • rsole.sole - 2012-05-31 13:14

    Clearly this is cutting into their funding for the ANC elections and "other" ANC expenses. Bunch of corrupt parasites.

  • Gary - 2012-05-31 13:15

    Well here is a suggestion... how about cutting back on the wasteful spending in Gov.. especially local and provincial government, and we can pay back the SANRAL debt and have some cash to spare. Maybe start off with all the expensive cars, wasteful travel expenses, looting of slush funds, big fat public servants on suspension with full pay, criminals still receiving pension etc, etc... hell, we might even be able to build a whole lot of schools and houses!!

  • Gary - 2012-05-31 13:15

    Well here is a suggestion... how about cutting back on the wasteful spending in Gov.. especially local and provincial government, and we can pay back the SANRAL debt and have some cash to spare. Maybe start off with all the expensive cars, wasteful travel expenses, looting of slush funds, big fat public servants on suspension with full pay, criminals still receiving pension etc, etc... hell, we might even be able to build a whole lot of schools and houses!!

      Gary - 2012-05-31 13:21

      Sorry guys ... Fin24 webpage kept coming back with the message "sorry your msg could not be posted at this moment" ... but in the meantime it was posted... hence the duplicity!

      denise.herbst.5 - 2012-05-31 18:33

      Prob got the ANC in charge today Gary!

  • Gary - 2012-05-31 13:16

    Well here is a suggestion... how about cutting back on the wasteful spending in Gov.. especially local and provincial government, and we can pay back the SANRAL debt and have some cash to spare. Maybe start off with all the expensive cars, wasteful travel expenses, looting of slush funds, big fat public servants on suspension with full pay, criminals still receiving pension etc, etc... hell, we might even be able to build a whole lot of schools and houses!!

  • Beryl - 2012-05-31 13:20

    WELL DEAR ANC GOVERNMENT - NEXT TIME ASK THE PEOPLE - DONT JUST GO AHEAD WITH THESE BIG PROJECTS AND EXPECT THE PEOPLE TO PAY . WE PAY YOUR SALARY AND WE HAVE A SAY ON HOW YOU CAN SPEND OUR MONEY.

  • jacques.shepperson - 2012-05-31 13:20

    They can give money to ZIM and Cuba for free... something is wrong. Cut the salaries of the top gov structures let people stay in hotels when traveling that does not cost R10 000+ per night...

      Bless Boswell - 2012-05-31 13:43

      Don't forget they bailed Swaziland too.

  • jacques.shepperson - 2012-05-31 13:21

    They can give money to ZIM and Cuba for free... something is wrong. Cut the salaries of the top gov structures let people stay in hotels when traveling that does not cost R10 000+ per night...

  • Chien-Teng - 2012-05-31 13:22

    Firstly, people would not have minded the e-Tolls if it was done in terms of the conceived plan back in 1997! The plan was to toll only the newly built freeways/speedways and not tolling the improved existing highway. This new bill they way to introduce, appropriations bill, is like shoot first ask questions later, will ultimately gives the government the power to use allocated funds and then justify their actions. SANRAL in this case has made the mistake of overcharging on the admin/collection fee than the actually toll fees itself. Its own refusal to listen to other means of collection resulted in the High Court Judgement. Secondly, the lack of transparency really really ticked off us, the public. WE WILL NOT PAY FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE! THE WASTEFUL GOVERNMENT AND ITS FAT CATS WHO BENEFITED FROM THE MISMANAGEMENT AND MISAPPROPRIATION OF ALLOCATED MAINTENANCE FUNDS SHOULD FORK OUT INSTEAD

  • Chien-Teng - 2012-05-31 13:22

    Firstly, people would not have minded the e-Tolls if it was done in terms of the conceived plan back in 1997! The plan was to toll only the newly built freeways/speedways and not tolling the improved existing highway. This new bill they way to introduce, appropriations bill, is like shoot first ask questions later, will ultimately gives the government the power to use allocated funds and then justify their actions. SANRAL in this case has made the mistake of overcharging on the admin/collection fee than the actually toll fees itself. Its own refusal to listen to other means of collection resulted in the High Court Judgement. Secondly, the lack of transparency really really ticked off us, the public. WE WILL NOT PAY FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE! THE WASTEFUL GOVERNMENT AND ITS FAT CATS WHO BENEFITED FROM THE MISMANAGEMENT AND MISAPPROPRIATION OF ALLOCATED MAINTENANCE FUNDS SHOULD FORK OUT INSTEAD

  • Morne - 2012-05-31 13:23

    I know! Let us sell one of those very expensive planes back to those corrupt arms companies who indecently also financed the e-toll. Or we can use the money raised by the government by selling rhino horn. Or even better, sell the Zuma painting!

  • Morne - 2012-05-31 13:23

    I know! Let us sell one of those very expensive planes back to those corrupt arms companies who indecently also financed the e-toll. Or we can use the money raised by the government by selling rhino horn. Or even better, sell the Zuma painting!

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-05-31 13:24

    Let the idiots who planned it, pay for it. You cannot buy something if you have not money, then steal from the tax payer to pay the debts and enrich yourselves. If u could do that, then we'd all like to do stuff the similar way and get paid. It's way past 3rd world wheeling and dealing.

  • Warwick - 2012-05-31 13:25

    Sod off Ali, go to Hell from where you came you lying extortionist anc cadre. Your threats were met with our ire, you are a miserable failure Nazi Ali. We will not pay for your screw ups and expensive public highways. Just the fact you have the backing of the anc speaks volumes all by itself, they always look after their corrupt cronies and you’re the ‘road crony’ No 1 ne?.....You are public enemy No 1 pal. Jail awaits your butt, soon al the worms will come out and make this failure small in comparison to the arms deal. With all our corrupt leaders, you all will answer one day pal. Go away Ali, enough of you now.

      Amanda - 2012-05-31 14:09

      And now he has retracted his resignation, what happened? Maybe another kickback or something.

      Amanda - 2012-05-31 14:09

      And now he has retracted his resignation, what happened? Maybe another kickback or something.

      Amanda - 2012-05-31 14:09

      And now he has retracted his resignation, what happened? Maybe another kickback or something.

      Amanda - 2012-05-31 14:10

      And now he has retracted his resignation, what happened? Maybe another kickback or something.

  • Warwick - 2012-05-31 13:27

    Sod off Ali, go to Hell from where you came you lying extortionist anc cadre. Your threats were met with our ire, you are a miserable failure Nazi Ali. We will not pay for your screw ups and expensive public highways. Just the fact you have the backing of the anc speaks volumes all by itself, they always look after their corrupt cronies and you’re the ‘road crony’ No 1 ne?.....You are public enemy No 1 pal. Jail awaits your butt, soon al the worms will come out and make this failure small in comparison to the arms deal. With all our corrupt leaders, you all will answer one day pal. Go away Ali, enough of you now.

  • Warwick - 2012-05-31 13:27

    Sod off Ali, go to Hell from where you came you lying extortionist anc cadre. Your threats were met with our ire, you are a miserable failure Nazi Ali. We will not pay for your screw ups and expensive public highways. Just the fact you have the backing of the anc speaks volumes all by itself, they always look after their corrupt cronies and you’re the ‘road crony’ No 1 ne?.....You are public enemy No 1 pal. Jail awaits your butt, soon al the worms will come out and make this failure small in comparison to the arms deal. With all our corrupt leaders, you all will answer one day pal. Go away Ali, enough of you now.

  • Victor - 2012-05-31 13:28

    100 million rand was spent on a cake party a few months ago, they could have used that money instead of wasting it like that.

  • Victor - 2012-05-31 13:28

    100 million rand was spent on a cake party a few months ago, they could have used that money instead of wasting it like that.

  • dave.leverton - 2012-05-31 13:31

    "As of now, the decision of Cabinet stands," he said. As of now, the decision of the people stands, we said.

  • dave.leverton - 2012-05-31 13:34

    "As of now, the decision of Cabinet stands," he said. As of now, the decision of the people stands, we said.

  • phoofolo.lebohang - 2012-05-31 13:35

    Its a democracy which is brought this k** in our country, sies...

  • clem.human - 2012-05-31 13:36

    Gauteng generates most of the money in the country - the rest of the country benefits from Gauteng. An increase in the fuel levy is quite appropriate. Govt mustn't squeal when they try a sneaky move and it backfires. Does the finance minister really believe that defaulting on a debt (which they could easily pay) is any worse than the endemic corruption of the government? (my apologies to the honest civil servant - I would like to believe that there are some). What about the full pay of all the suspended crooks?

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-31 13:37

    Let them fund it out of misappropriated funds. We have been swindled enough already.

  • Dhavandran - 2012-05-31 13:38

    why use the taxpayer's money. use the monies which the competition board had fined those companies for price fixing. these monies run into billions and yet we don't see it getting back to the consumer in the form of improvements to health,education housing, water and infrastructure. the only people who benefit from these fines is praveen and his stooges.now one of his stooges wants to bail ouit scamral with our money. bastards!

  • Oneant - 2012-05-31 13:44

    @John : Why dont you write some Mathematics, Philosophy, Chemistry and Quantum Physics textbooks in your language and perhaps the world would bother to learn it? You cannot expect people to use a language if its contribution to the modern world is minimal - because then its reduced to being "of interest". English cannot be "of interest" because you will know nothing important to make a living in 2012 AD if you cannot read, write and speak it. And before you call me a racists I will say many other indigenous languages in the world are in the same situation.

  • clem.human - 2012-05-31 13:44

    I saw a good comment raised - all the freebies given to various crackpot countries - the Swazi king who takes commission on the SA loan, bailouts of Cuba etc - free stuff to Zimbabwe etc, also the ANC birthday bash (my favourite comment "comrades, I drink this champagne on your behalf" - I am sure that a lobotomy would not even lower the IQ of the masses in this country) - Zapiro and other political commentators must be the envy of their overseas counterparts - here you don't even have to think - as Trevor Noah said, they even write his own material!!!!

  • Oneant - 2012-05-31 13:45

    @John : Why dont you write some Mathematics, Philosophy, Chemistry and Quantum Physics textbooks in your language and perhaps the world would bother to learn it? You cannot expect people to use a language if its contribution to the modern world is minimal - because then its reduced to being "of interest". English cannot be "of interest" because you will know nothing important to make a living in 2012 AD if you cannot read, write and speak it. And before you call me a racists I will say many other indigenous languages in the world are in the same situation.

  • clem.human - 2012-05-31 13:45

    I saw a good comment raised - all the freebies given to various crackpot countries - the Swazi king who takes commission on the SA loan, bailouts of Cuba etc - free stuff to Zimbabwe etc, also the ANC birthday bash (my favourite comment "comrades, I drink this champagne on your behalf" - I am sure that a lobotomy would not even lower the IQ of the masses in this country) - Zapiro and other political commentators must be the envy of their overseas counterparts - here you don't even have to think - as Trevor Noah said, they even write his own material!!!!

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-31 13:46

    This is the precise reason they want the secrecy bill pushed through. If it were in place we would not know about all the wasteful expenditure. Government got itself into this mess. They must get out of it themselves.

  • clem.human - 2012-05-31 13:47

    I saw a good comment raised - all the freebies given to various crackpot countries - the Swazi king who takes commission on the SA loan, bailouts of Cuba etc - free stuff to Zimbabwe etc, also the ANC birthday bash (my favourite comment "comrades, I drink this champagne on your behalf" - I am sure that a lobotomy would not even lower the IQ of the masses in this country) - Zapiro and other political commentators must be the envy of their overseas counterparts - here you don't even have to think - as Trevor Noah said, they even write his own material!!!!

  • clem.human - 2012-05-31 13:47

    I saw a good comment raised - all the freebies given to various crackpot countries - the Swazi king who takes commission on the SA loan, bailouts of Cuba etc - free stuff to Zimbabwe etc, also the ANC birthday bash (my favourite comment "comrades, I drink this champagne on your behalf" - I am sure that a lobotomy would not even lower the IQ of the masses in this country) - Zapiro and other political commentators must be the envy of their overseas counterparts - here you don't even have to think - as Trevor Noah said, they even write his own material!!!!

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-31 13:49

    I am sure apartheid is to blame for this particular mess :p

  • paulgerber969 - 2012-05-31 13:52

    Stealing from Peter to pay Paul (sic)

  • paulgerber969 - 2012-05-31 13:52

    Stealing from Peter to pay Paul (sic)

  • paulgerber969 - 2012-05-31 13:54

    Stealing from Peter to pay Paul (sic)

  • Hugh - 2012-05-31 13:55

    It's easier to extract more money out of a ever poorer tax payer then manage the adequate funds provided for the GDP. R60Billion lost to corruption theft and wasteful management annually would go a long way to pay these debts without posing more taxes! Fascist dictators.

  • hilette - 2012-05-31 13:55

    If the anc stopped stealing the money from tax, vat and toll fees we already pay there will more than sufficient funds for SANRAL without having to take it away from "other allocations".

  • Hugh - 2012-05-31 13:56

    It's easier to extract more money out of a ever poorer tax payer then manage the adequate funds provided for the GDP. R60Billion lost to corruption theft and wasteful management annually would go a long way to pay these debts without posing more taxes! Fascist dictators.

  • Leboela Pitch Lediha - 2012-05-31 13:57

    how does this work? Do you mean the tax payers must PAY for unfortunate project from which you used their money to conduct? how about you nationalize your salaries???

  • Good - 2012-05-31 14:05

    Somebody tell this guy that by cutting corruption in government by 1/3 will pay for this roads. How about he stops the rot at police crime intelligence's slush funds? We are not prepared to continue paying for this corrupt government!!

  • swavka - 2012-05-31 14:05

    Here's a thought - if every cadre that has benefited from a tender were to put just R1mil each into a kitty the roads would be paid for and there would still be plenty left over.

  • noelle14 - 2012-05-31 14:12

    Yes find the money elsewhere - in your own pockets - stop digging in the pockets of the citizens - and maybe stop worrying about paintings and using money for those type of court cases to defend a certain person's honor (which he has none) and use it for paying real debts like this!

  • danielmcgeer - 2012-05-31 14:13

    Claim back the Trillion Rand lost to corruption and enforce repayment and you'll have more than enough to pay back Sanral and build decent roads for the whole of SA... It shouldn't come from us again.

  • mark.vanderheever - 2012-05-31 14:13

    LET THEM ALL TAKE A PAY CUT MAYBE WE CAN SETTLE THE DEBT!?

  • danielmcgeer - 2012-05-31 14:13

    Claim back the Trillion Rand lost to corruption and enforce repayment and you'll have more than enough to pay back Sanral and build decent roads for the whole of SA... It shouldn't come from us again.

  • danielmcgeer - 2012-05-31 14:14

    Claim back the Trillion Rand lost to corruption and enforce repayment and you'll have more than enough to pay back Sanral and build decent roads for the whole of SA... It shouldn't come from us again.