Sun Oct 23 08:23:38 CAT 2016

'Global crunch won't halt Transnet'

By unknown | Oct 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

State-owned rail and port operator Transnet's infrastructure roll-out advanced by R8,3billion during the six months ended September, and it is on track to spend a further R12,6billion during the second half of its financial year to March.

Transnet announced at the start of this financial year that it plans to spend R80,3billion over the next five years improving South Africa's railways, harbours and fuel pipelines.

Maria Ramos, Transnet's chief executive, reassured engineering companies there was no fear of projects getting canned by the global credit crunch or weak rand.

"The company has adequate cash on hand and banking facilities to meet its commitments," Ramos said in the interim results statement.

"At the end of the period the company had unused borrowing facilities of R36billion, of which R7billion is available immediately as short-term loans."

Ramos said Transnet's gearing ratio reached 32,5percent, leaving it well below the limit of 50percent set by the board.

Half of Transnet's capital expenditure during the six months was allocated to its railways, helping this division up its iron ore volumes by 5percent to 16million tons and containers by 9percent to 287000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

But the state rail monopoly's performance on the Richards Bay Coal Terminal line - the artery for South Africa's second biggest export earner after platinum group metals - deteriorated.

Ramos said: "This area of the business is receiving significant management attention to stabilise operations and consequently, steady improvement is expected for the rest of the year."


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