Cape Town - The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral)
faces heavy financial pressure post October 2013 should the roads agency still
not earn e-toll revenue, Moody's said in a BusinessLive report.
This was notwithstanding Sanral's current cash reserves of
R7.1bn, which should absorb operating costs and debt service in the short term,
Moody's said in the report.
Moody's has estimated that Sanral would lose R270m a month
for each month toll fees are not collected.
Moody's downgraded Sanral by two notches, after doubts about
whether it could meet its debt commitments.
The downgrade means Sanral could see a spike in borrowing
"We believe that Sanral's high gearing and
uncertainties over e-tolling issues could make it difficult for the company in
(the) medium term to debt-finance the operating deficits resulting from its
loss of e-toll revenue," a Moody's analyst is quoted as saying.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who chairs an
inter-ministerial committee handling the Sanral crisis, has warned that failure
to meet the road agency's debt repayments while the legal battle over e-tolling
in Gauteng continues would have dire consequences for Sanral and the country.
The Treasury has extended a R5.8bn budget allocation to
Sanral to help it meet its commitments.
On April 28, the high court in Pretoria handed down an order
preventing Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls for the Gauteng Freeway
Improvement Project pending the outcome
of a judicial review.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance applied to have
A government spokespersonhas said despite the opposition,
the state remains committed to e-tolling and would appeal the interim order by
the the high court in Pretoria halting its implementation.