Sanral busy with time-consuming process to recover debt from dishonest contractors who had assisted in the construction of toll roads

Adv Anton Alberts

Sanral has to date not recovered one cent from dishonest contractors who colluded to rig tenders with the construction of the toll road system, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Transport says.

This is despite the fact that the Competition Tribunal has issued 28 certificates to Sanral to recover a portion of its estimated debt of R20 billion which will otherwise only have to be recovered from taxpayers.

In a question in Parliament of Adv. Alberts to the minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, about the issue, Adv. Alberts asked whether Sanral was planning to take any legal steps against the relevant companies and whether the recovered funds would be used as payments toward the debt incurred for the upgrades of the toll roads.

In her reply, Peters said that the relevant projects were historical projects and that an assessment of damages, if any, first has to be done before any legal steps can be taken.

This entails a lot of research and Sanral has appointed an independent estimator and economist to collate and evaluate information to establish whether Sanral had suffered any damages. Due to the scope of the task, it could take 6 to 9 months to complete it, according to the response.

Regarding the use of the moneys which could possibly be recovered, the minister said that it would be used for the maintenance of the roads and for the repayment of outstanding debt.

Adv. Alberts said that the FF Plus is not at all satisfied with the response of the minister. He said the Competition Tribunal had already undertaken an investigation and made a finding. Sanral does not have to do it again, but should only determine what the damages are and recover that.

“If the investigation is not done properly, the FF Plus will report Sanral to the Competition Commission because Sanral does not want to accept the tribunal’s findings and act accordingly. We will also ask the Auditor General (AG) to make a finding on this,” Adv. Alberts said.


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