Airports Company secures R1.5bn loan

30 January 2009

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has secured a R1.5-billion loan facility from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to fund its airport infrastructure development programme.

Acsa treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi said that worsening domestic and global macroeconomic conditions had lead to a weakening in the domestic bond market, forcing the company to diversify its sources of funding.

“We have approached a number of financial institutions and we are pleased that the DBSA agreed to partner with us,” he said in a statement this week.

“The loan will go a long way toward meeting Acsa’s funding requirements. Discussions with other institutions are continuing.”

DBSA divisional executive Bethuel Netshiswinzhe said the project signified the bank’s commitment to contribute toward the development of economic infrastructure, which was needed for further growth and development in the country.

“We are delighted to be part of this expansion programme, designed to increase the capacity of our airports and to meet the expectations of the travelling public, [as well as] thousands of soccer loving fans expected to descend on our shores for the 2010 World Cup,” he said.

Capital expansion programme

Acsa is in the midst of a five-year, R22-billion capital expansion programme, extending till 2012, to expand capacity at its network of 10 airports around the country in the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.

By August 2008, the company had spent over R5.2-billion on airport improvements over the course of the financial year. This sum included upgrades and new developments worth R1.7-billion at OR Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg, R603-million on Cape Town International Airport and R298-million on smaller domestic airports countrywide.

In addition, R1.9-billion was allocated for upgrades at Durban International Airport as well as the greenfields international airport development at La Mercy to the north of Durban.

September 2008 also saw the opening of OR Tambo International Airport’s R2.3-billion central terminal building, which has over 18 000 square metres of space and features a larger international arrivals hall, as well as retail facilities including a post office, cellular phone shops, foreign exchange services and various eateries.

SAinfo reporter

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