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Sanral: Ratings downgrade no surprise

Moody's last night downgraded Sanral's outlook from stable to negative.

FILE: Sanral's highway monitoring an toll collection centre in Johahannesburg. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) says it's downgrading by ratings agency Moody's has come as no surprise as it faces a decline in e-toll revenue collection.

Last night, the ratings agency downgraded Sanral's outlook from stable to negative.

It's reported that the e-tolls review panel assembled by Gauteng Premier David Makhura has contributed to the decline in e-toll payments as motorists wait for his final recommendations.

The roads agency says it has accepted that it needs to find an urgent solution to avoid an anticipated increase in its debt.

However, the organisation says it is still solvent due to the R10 billion generated annually from non-tolling operations.

Spokesperson Inge Mulder said, "Sanral's sole business is less than 20 percent so in terms of solvency, we are still solvent."

Earlier, the Democratic Alliance (DA) criticised the e-toll review process saying it failed to act in the public interest.

DA leaders suggested that the cost of recovering money spent on Sanral's e-tolling system be covered nationally.

The party is proposing the implementation of a national fuel levy of 11 cents or 33 cents if applying to Gauteng to settle the roads agency's debt and see the end of the system.

A national fuel levy and provincial referendums are just some of the ways the DA believes it will see the scrapping of e-tolls for good.