South Africa needs massive transport investment: minister

22:10, February 15, 2011      

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South Africa needs up to 468 billion rands (66.9 billion U.S. dollars) to address the investment needs of the country's roads and rail sector, South African transport minister Sbu Ndebele said on Tuesday.

Addressing a media briefing by South Africa's infrastructure cluster of ministers at the South African parliament in Cape Town, Ndebele also said countries including China, France, Germany, the United States, Canada and South Korea are ready to finance South Africa's rail expansion

According to Business Day newspaper in Johannesburg, the minister also said 75 billion rands (10.7 billion U.S. dollars) is needed for South African for road maintenance, 93 billion rands (13.3 billion U.S. dollars) for commuter rail services and up to 300 billion rands (42.9 billion U.S. dollars) for a rail passenger service known as the Shosholoza Meyl. The briefings followed South African President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address last week and flesh out the details of the broad announcements he made.

Ndebele said the investment requirements are "staggering" by all standards.

He said the South African government would be engaging over the next six months to find financing for the projects. "We must ensure that the projects are funded through an equitable split between private users and funders," he said.

According to the South African Press Association (SAPA), Ndebele said modernisation and upgrade of South Africa's long- distance passenger and freight infrastructure is an urgent matter that cannot be delayed any longer.

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