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SA Roads Agency gets Euro loan

2009-07-17 07:20
The SA National Roads Agency had received a EUR 120 million loan (R1.37 billion) from the European Investment Bank.

In a statement on Thursday, the bank said the loan would be used to upgrade and extend two key toll roads in the north of the country.

"The projects are of strategic importance to South Africa's transport infrastructure, and are  part of an ongoing programme by the national authorities to upgrade and extend the road network.

"The planned improvements and extensions will contribute to enhanced economic competitiveness as a result of reduced transportation costs and travel times," the bank said.

The loan was signed on Thursday at the EIB's headquarters in Luxembourg.

Third loan with South Africa

EIB vice president Plutarchos Sakellaris said this was the third loan the bank had signed with South Africa.

"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.

"I am convinced that this project will fulfil these goals and am confident that it will be well implemented and managed."

R21, N17

The EIB funding would be used to support the upgrade and widening of 30 kilometres of the R21 linking Pretoria and the OR Tambo International Airport, as well as improvements to over 160 kilometres between Springs and Ermelo on the N17 - which links Johannesburg and Swaziland.

"The road enhancement schemes will bring significant safety benefits as a result of improved road alignment, the construction of emergency lanes and grade separated junctions.

"The project also has a strong social component as it will help to develop less advanced regions and create direct and indirect employment opportunities during the construction and management stages," the EIB said.

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