27 February 2009
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) have signed a long-term €85-million (about R1.06-billion) loan agreement to improve Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
According to the agreement, the loan will be repayable over 15 years, with a three-year grace period.
Central terminal building
According to a statement by Acsa this week, the funds will be used to finance the extension and upgrading of Acsa’s flagship OR Tambo International Airport, in particular the recently built central terminal building.
“This financial support shows how international development institutions can accompany, even in critical global financial times, development processes that structure the economy,” said AFD’s Johannesburg-based regional director, Christopher Richard.
As part of Acsa’s strategy to diversify its sources of funding, it has approached a number of financial institutions, particularly those that focus on long-term infrastructure development, and AFD was the first international development finance institution to support the company in funding its capital investment programme.
Acsa finance executive director Priscillah Mabelane said they were pleased that AFD had partnered with them in providing long-term funding with an appropriate structure at a time when the credit market was constrained.
The agreement emphasised the quality of the partnership between France and South Africa, in particular for the support of the organisation of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and the long-term development of Africa, she said.
Operating in South Africa since 1994, AFD is a French government institution set up to provide development financing especially for urban, rural and infrastructural development, as well as industry, financial systems and education.
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