EU to support infrastructure development in South Africa and the region
Ahead of the EU-South Africa Summit to take place on July 18 in Pretoria (South Africa), the European Union has approved a ground-breaking €100 million programme to support infrastructure development, through an innovative grant-loan blending mechanism, for South Africa and the region.
The Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa will be used to leverage investments from development finance institutions in areas identified by the country itself which were in deep need of financing. EU grants will support a range of activities, including technical assistance for the preparation, management and implementation of projects, as well as direct grants to co-finance capital expenditure of infrastructure projects. This would make possible, for example, support for projects in the South African energy sector, as well as regional road and rail projects to improve trade possibilities between South Africa and its neighbours.
Recognising improved infrastructure as vital to bettering peoples' lives, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who is going to attend the EU-South Africa Summit, stated: “Improving infrastructure is key to the development of any country. South Africa is currently held back by its infrastructure, which restricts people’s access to health, education and job opportunities. By taking an innovative approach, our new support programme will help to significantly boost trade in the region and get the country on the road to further growth”.
For more information: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-712_en.htm