Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

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Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding fee collection for the much-contested e-tolling of certain Gauteng freeways by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the National Treasury believes investor confidence in the agency has returned following the conclusion of two successful bond auctions last year.
Sanral plans to borrow R35.5-billion in the domestic market over the medium term in addition to its total borrowings of R48.8-billion as at March 31, 2016
“Some degree of uncertainty around Gauteng toll fees persists. However, investor confidence has returned, as demonstrated by Sanral’s two successful bond auctions during the second half of 2016,” the National Treasury assured recently.
This emerged as Sanral secured R15.4-billion – a Cabinet-approved budget reduction of R687-million – for the medium-term from the National Treasury to strengthen and maintain the 21 946 km national road network.
Sanral plans to resurface 3 200 km and strengthen 1 475 km of national roads, despite the fact that the budget reduction over the medium term is expected to delay upgrades and the strengthening of the nontoll network.
The roads agency obtained R4.8-billion for the upgrade of the R573 Moloto road, R29.6-billion for road rehabilitation projects, R13.9-billion for road operations and maintenance and R1.5-billion for Phase 1 of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
A further R1-billion has been set aside for the N2 Wild Coast road, pending the conclusion of discussions on the funding model for the project, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan commented.

Meanwhile, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa(PRASA) plans to acquire 70 new trains, refurbish 1 230 coaches for Metrorail and Shosholoza Meyl, complete 141 train station improvement projects and upgrade its signalling infrastructure and build depots.
The first 18 trains are expected to be delivered by the end of 2017/18.
Over the medium term, the Department of Transport will provide a capital transfer of R49.3-billion to PRASA.

“Although Cabinet approved a reduction of R1-billion on transfers to the agency over the medium term, R3-billion will be reprioritised over the period for the operations of the long-distance mainline passenger service, and R2.7-billion will be reprioritised for the renewal of rolling stock in 2019/20,” the Treasury outlined.
According to the Treasury, spending on Metrorail is expected to subsidise more than 484-million passenger trips a year in the period ahead, and spending on the mainline passenger service is expected to subsidise 2.3-million passengers over the medium term.

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