OUTA’s submission to Parliament on the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS 2022) called for an explanation of the South African National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) debt and the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) portion of this.
OUTA welcomed the resolution of this matter and the acknowledgement that Gauteng commuter roads (social infrastructure) should be funded by the fiscus. However, we want greater transparency and clarity on these finances before the Sanral bailouts are finalised.
OUTA’s submission was to the Standing and Select Committees on Appropriations, on the 2022 Adjustments Appropriation Bill and the 2022 Special Appropriation Bill.
The Adjustments Appropriation Bill includes a transfer of R3.740 billion for Sanral for the GFIP, which was transferred to Sanral in July 2022 and is now being regularised, and a proposed transfer of R23.736 billion through the Special Appropriation Bill. The national government has indicated it will pay off 70% of Sanral’s debt and Gauteng will pay off 30%, plus pay for ongoing maintenance of the GFIP roads, effectively ending the e-tolls collection mechanism in Gauteng. Gauteng has since said it is paying off 30% of the GFIP debt (not the full Sanral debt) and calculates its share as R12.9 billion.
In our submission, we note the cost of the GFIP upgrade was R20 billion and that Sanral borrowed R20 billion to fund this. We also note that since 2011/12, national government has authorised government grants totalling R30.053 billion to Sanral, explicitly for the GFIP (this includes the R3.740 billion transferred in July 2022 but excludes the proposed R23.736 billion transfer). However, the GFIP debt remains inexplicably high, as National Treasury said this was R43.031 billion in March 2022.
We want these finances explained.
However, Parliament passed these money bills without a public explanation on the finances.
OUTA's submission to Parliament on MTBPS 2022 (the Adjustment Appropriation Bill and the Special Appropriation Bill) is here
and the presentation is here
.Budget 2022: Comment
OUTA's comment on Budget 2022 in February 2022 is here
. This was not a formal submission.