SANRAL strapped for cash

SANRAL strapped for cash

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), the state owned company behind the controversial e-tolling system in Gauteng, has said it is running out of money.

According to a report by Bloomberg, investors are reluctant to provide more funds because of the e-tolling project delays.

“SANRAL has almost totally depleted its available cash. We’re not able to fund ourselves any further, due to investors not feeling comfortable with our risk profile,” Bloomberg quoted Vusi Mona, spokesperson for SANRAL, as saying.

Following previous delays, e-tolling in Gauteng was supposed to begin this month, but has been delayed once again due to fierce opposition from the public and a number of entities.

SANRAL intends to use e-tolling as a means to pay of its US$2.1 billion debt, which was initially used on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

“We’ve requested further assistance. The government is not in a position to provide any further assistance, other than the guarantee,” said Mona.

Mona added: “[the National] Treasury said it hasn’t been approached for further financial assistance for SANRAL. Such assistance would be hard, if not impossible, given the difficult economic environment we’re in.”

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has vehemently opposed e-tolling and has organised numerous protests in Gauteng. Together with the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA), both entities have urged motorists not to purchase an e-tag, which monitors a motorists use of tolled highways.

Kapsch TrafficCom, the Austrian company behind the manufacturing of the e-tolling system in South Africa, recently experienced a drop in their share price due to the delayed e-tolling in Gauteng.

Posted in: Policy

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