The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has responded to claims that it doesn’t pay its City Power bills.
Sanral said it “noted with concern allegations made by the Democratic Alliance [DA], and wishes to state the allegations made by the DA are untrue”.
The party’s Johannesburg mayoral candidate Mpho Phalatse promised to switch off the electricity supply to the e-toll gantries if elected.
The party said it had been informed that Sanral are currently in arrears with City Power.
“City Power is currently supplying the gantries with electricity. In a normal circumstance, Sanral should be paying the bills for this service. But with Sanral in arrears, it means the City of Johannesburg is not receiving revenue for this service, and the cost to keep these gantries on is being footed by the residents of Johannesburg” said Phalatse.
The road agency says it currently holds multiple accounts with the City Power, billed through the City of Johannesburg.
“Occasionally, discrepancies are encountered within our multiple accounts, but this means that at times certain infrastructure accounts will be in credit or debit due to the municipal verification processes and billing cycles,” said Sanral.
The road agency stressed that its discrepancies were continuously monitored, managed, and resolved as needed and constantly communicated with City Power.
“We have never failed to honour [our] responsibilities towards the entity,” said Sanral.
“As a responsible state-owned entity, Sanral subscribes to the Public Finance Management Act [PFMA], and all outstanding accounts are therefore managed within the framework of the Act,” said the agency.
The agency said it had ensured the funds allocated by the government and received from road users paying their e-toll accounts were spent responsibly, as prescribed by the PFMA.
Phalatse said switching off power to the e-toll gantries would “effectively collapse the system in strategic nodes, based on non-payment by Sanral”.
“We cannot allow the residents of Johannesburg to suffer any further from a shortage of services because the national government is failing to take responsibility and pay their bills,” she said.