Support confirmed for South African toll roads
21 July 2009
Financial support for the extension and upgrade of two South African toll roads has been confirmed.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to lend €120 million to the country's roads agency (Sanral) for work to be undertaken on a 30-kilometre stretch of the R21 between the OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria, as well as 160 kilometres on the N17 linking Springs and Ermelo.
According to the EIB, the projects are crucial for South Africa's transport infrastructure and will help contribute to reduced costs, enhanced competition and safety benefits.
"The EIB is delighted to support the upgrade of these key toll roads - a project which is exactly in line with our objective of supporting economic growth in South Africa through the promotion of improved public infrastructure," commented vice-president Plutarchos Sakellaris.
Other potentially positive consequences of the road works will be a "strong social component", the bank said. Direct and indirect employment opportunities will be created as a result, it explained.
The EIB recently collaborated with the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund to approve a €1.75 million for studies into a possible 330 kV transmission link between the Ivory Coast and Ghana.