Fin24

Sanral in dire straits without e-tolls

2012-08-01 11:41

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 costs.

"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 e-tolling halted.

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.

 - Fin24

 

Comments
  • Sulette Behnke - 2012-08-01 12:11

    They shouldn't have started counting their chickens....honestly , they just thought we would accept and adjust

  • Spiral - 2012-08-01 12:47

    The only reason sanral are pushing for tolls is because of its own mismanagement! Don't come after tax payers money because you're running yourselves into the ground.

  • UNITY - 2012-08-01 13:05

    That's poor government and transport planning along with Sanral as the mule. SA's roads are adequately if not overtolled. Suggestion...recover the money by creating a department of corruption!!!! Employ skilled unemployed people to recover money and pay of bad debts through pathetic decision making, lead by greed and mismanagement! There are no major transport systems in place to cater for all citizens. This tolling model makes no sense ,and will harm an already burdened economy and heighten the level of unemployment in the country, lead to unproductivity due to labor protest for increase in transportation expense.excluding the taxis! What a joke!

      jurie.nel.3 - 2012-10-01 16:10

      Only - it is not funny.

  • Roelof Botha - 2012-08-01 13:11

    That's what happens when a government underestimates its citizens.

  • Pieter Kunz - 2012-08-01 15:36

    And whos fault is that? The taxpayer? They tried to push a system which most 1st world countries wouldnt consider. They wanted the public to just pay and increase the cost of living... The had it coming and i wish someone can give sanral the knock out blow and kill this etoll for good...

  • shaylene.stenger - 2012-08-01 19:16

    They should have never built it in the first place....

  • tommo.too - 2012-08-01 23:19

    People, get out your 4x4s. Daai pad gaan erenstig naar Timbuktu toe. That road is gonna look like a cattle track after 5 years...

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-08-02 20:12

    Don't buy an etag ever

  • euan.harvey2 - 2012-08-03 10:47

    I wonder what it is that Sanral and the Govt don't get? Why do they think that the public will stand for a + ZAR 50bn over recovery - irrational indeed. As Stephen Mulholland noted on another occassion, "how deep are the snouts in the trough of public coffers". It does occur to one I think that just a decent percentage of what annually goes to waste in Govt spending would easily sustain this investment. EKH

  • qungisbindi.mafendana - 2012-08-15 10:55

    If they're in "dire straits" then they should start clearing they're desks, and sell off those blue lights. NO MEANS NO

  • kurtmaurice.roman - 2012-10-01 15:21

    Who said they must take out loans and expect the tax pay to pay for it?

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