News in Brief

Cabinet ‘will consider e-toll alternatives’

The cabinet would consider proposed alternatives to electronic tolling of Gauteng freeways, it said yesterday. This emerged after a meeting in Pretoria between the government and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, who jointly said they would consult further on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and alliance chairman Wayne Duvenage agreed on the need for users to pay for road improvements and the importance of decongestion and efficiency in public transport, but disagreed that e-tolling was a way to fix this. Outa wants a fuel levy used to fund freeway revamps. The government highlighted the range of improvements to public transport in Gauteng, as well as the R550 monthly cap on e-toll fees. – Sapa

S&P reduces Cell C outlook to stable

Cell C’s outlook was reduced yesterday to stable from positive for its B– long-term debt rating at Standard & Poor’s (S&P), which said it did not expect the cellular operator to generate free operating cash flow before 2014. “Business challenges and execution risks” at Cell C would delay growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the coming quarters, S&P said. Cell C’s profitability might be constrained by “increasingly aggressive pricing” by rivals in the domestic prepaid market and for mobile broadband services. – Bloomberg

Velvet Sky denied any more lifelines

Velvet Sky airline was liquidated by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court yesterday. Judge Phillip Nkosi rejected a request for an adjournment. Creditors said yesterday that the application had only delayed the inevitable liquidation. The low-cost airline owes almost R100 million to its creditors, it emerged in court. The troubled firm was placed under provisional liquidation in May. – Sapa