South Africa

Transnet postpones R7 billion debt payoff to March

Transnet rolled over R7 billion of debt due this week until March, giving the South African state-owned port and rail company relief for four months.

The bonds, which were due November 6, were dealt with “using funding and existing facilities,” Transnet said in an emailed response to questions.

The company sold zero-coupon notes maturing in February and March next year, shortly after next year’s budget presentation.

The Public Investment Corporation, which manages the bulk of government employees’ pension funds and had R4.4 billion of Transnet’s bonds due for repayment on November 6, rolled over its exposure into a new short-term commercial paper maturing in March, News24 reported on Wednesday.

It also received a balance of more than R250 million, the news website said.

The PIC said it would respond later to a request by Bloomberg for comment.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana made no provision for Transnet in his medium-term budget policy statement last week, despite a last-minute bid for a bailout by the embattled company. 

“We are realistic that at some point, we need to find a solution for Transnet,” Godongwana said. “Moving forward, our view is that we need a Transnet that agrees to a particular program, and we going to insist on that.”

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