The Infrastructure Investment Program 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, the European Commission said in a press release on Wednesday.
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 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 neighbors.
Recognizing improved infrastructure as vital to bettering peoples’ lives, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who is going to attend the Summit, said: “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 program will help to significantly boost trade in the region and get the country on the road to further growth.”
The program is expected to contribute to increased infrastructure investments in South Africa and the region, notably in transportation and logistics, energy, water/environment, information, communication and technology (ICT) and social infrastructure.
South Africa’s National Development Plan, which sets out the long term development objectives for the country, highlights the need to strengthen the country’s and region’s infrastructure, through reduced transportation costs, better rail, road and port networks and more diversified energy resources.
This article originally appeared on rttnews.com 17/07/2013