Sanral: If only its debt hole was a pothole
18 Sep 2019 - by
Concerns have been raised that the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) is digging itself deeper into debt, following news that it has been granted a R7 billion loan from the Brics New Development Bank (NDB) that still requires ratification from the board.
Sanral already has a sizeable interest-bearing debt of R47 billion.
“What the public requires is transparency on why this loan is needed, especially in light of the fact that the NDB statement says this funding is being applied to the National Toll Roads Strengthening and Improvement Programme,” says Wayne Duvenage, CEO of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse.
“As far as we are concerned, funding for tolled roads comes from the collection of tolls on those road networks and we would like to know if this funding is going towards the GFIP bonds (for e-tolled roads) or other Sanral-managed toll roads that are supposed to be self-funding.
“We don't believe these funds are being allocated to the concessionaire tolled routes (N3TC, Bakwena and TRAC) and would be extremely concerned if this was the case.”
A statement by the NDB says that the R7 billion loan has been issued in rands and guaranteed by the South African government. “The project is designed to improve key national roads in South Africa with the objective of reducing transportation costs in the country. The scope of the project includes rehabilitation of the pavement for the existing toll sections of national roads, construction of additional lanes to widen such roads, and rehabilitation of related infrastructure, such as bridges and intersections,” says the NDB.