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Embattled South African Road, Rail Firms Bailed Out by Taxpayers

  • Sanral gets 23.7 billion rand to pay off state-guaranteed debt
  • Funding contingent on resolving standoff over freeway tolls
Automobiles travel along a road in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Automobiles travel along a road in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd., which maintains the national road network and has been crippled by motorists’ refusal to pay freeway tolls in the economic hub of Gauteng, will be bailed out by taxpayers.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana allocated 23.7 billion rand ($1.3 billion) to the state agency, according to the medium-term budget policy statement presented to lawmakers in Cape Town on Wednesday. The handout accounts for the bulk of the 30 billion rand of additional support he said is being provided to state companies.