Pretoria, 26 October 2022 – The Board of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) has welcomed the announcement regarding the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) made this afternoon by the Government of South Africa.

Delivering his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) to the National Assembly, Minister Godongwana said the uncertainty surrounding the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project had continued to have negative implications for road construction in the country.

He said it was time to move beyond the debates of previous years and find a resolution to the funding impasse. In this regard, Minister Godongwana announced that “the Gauteng provincial government has agreed to contribute 30 percent to settling SANRAL’s debt and interest obligations, while national government covers 70 percent.”

The Chairperson of the SANRAL Board, Mr Themba Mhambi, said the announcement by government provided certainty regarding the SANRAL GFIP debt and the e-tolling scheme in general. “SANRAL welcomes the announcement made by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, as to the future of tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). The government has lived up to its promise to provide us with a clear direction about this important issue as undertaken by the Minister of Transport this past June,” said Mr. Mhambi.

“Not only does Government’s decision provide clarity for the road-using public at large but it also means that SANRAL has significantly greater financial stability. We are particularly grateful that both the national and provincial governments have committed to take responsibility for the debt and its interest. That is a great relief to our balance sheet. SANRAL’s toll portfolio will ultimately be as healthy, financially speaking, as our non-toll portfolio. That translates into greater investment in our roads, with a concomitant positive impact on business opportunities and jobs.

“SANRAL trusts that the decision taken by government will be welcomed by the markets and will allow for certainty and predictability, which is as important for investors as it is for SANRAL and its financial stability.

“The full details of the implications of the announcement by government will be considered by the SANRAL Board and Management, under the leadership of the Minister of Transport. A comprehensive announcement on the implications of the decision communicated during the MTBPS will be made at a media briefing next week.

“We wish to thank the Minister of Transport as the shareholder representative, the Premier of Gauteng Province, the Minister of Finance and President Cyril Ramaphosa for the respective roles that they have played in bringing this matter to finality. We also want to thank the Cabinet for their guidance on this important issue over the past few years.

“The SANRAL Board also understands very clearly the Minister of Finance’s pronouncement that any financial support for state owned entities will now be accompanied by stricter pre- and post- conditions. As SANRAL we shall abide by all the conditions government will set in respect of the funding to be advanced to us. We sincerely hope that all South Africans affected by the GFIP e-tolls can now move forward and support SANRAL in developing the best possible national road infrastructure for our country,” said Mr Mhambi.