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Johannesburg - Gauteng must start repaying the national government for its hefty Gautrain loan.
The first repayment of R1.52 billion is due next month on the R4.2bn that was borrowed in April 2009.
According to details of the loan which Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan provided to parliament last year, Gauteng is paying 8.44% interest, and the total cost (capital and interest) will be R6.7bn. There are five loan payments, the last of them due in 2017.
Gauteng’s budget, tabled in the legislature on March 5, lists the province’s “state debt cost” as R1.6bn for 2013/14. Gauteng Finance Department spokesman John Sukazi said this was for the Gautrain loan, and confirmed the loan amount as R4.2bn.
Sukazi said that “the repayment period is part of ongoing discussions with national government”.
“However, a provision has been made in the budget of the GPG [Gauteng provincial government] and is reflected as such in the books of the province to enhance transparency.
“From inception, the project was conceptualised such that it was to be funded by both government and the private sector,” he said.