The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) received a loan of R7bn from the National Development Bank following a meeting in Shanghai, China last week.
The NDB was established by the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa economic grouping, Brics, to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies and developing countries. The SA government provided a guarantee for the loan.
For Sanral, the news may come with some relief, as the entity is grappling with non-compliance with the tolls meant to pay for the multibillion-rand Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, also known as e-tolls.
All in all, the bank approved four infrastructure and sustainable development projects worth about $1.4bn, bringing the bank’s total portfolio to 42 projects, with loans of $11.6bn.
The statement said R7bn was approved by the NDB's board of directors for Sanral's National Toll Roads Strengthening and Improvement Programme.
"The Project is designed to improve key national roads in South Africa with the objective of reducing transportation costs in the country.
"The scope of the project includes rehabilitation of the pavements for the existing toll sections of national roads, construction of additional lanes to widen such roads, and rehabilitation of related infrastructure, such as bridges and intersections," the statement said.
Other loans that were approved were for the development of renewable energy in Russia ($300m) and two Indian projects, for roads and rural connectivity, for $323m each.