Air transport contributes significantly to economic growth and job creation, two of South Africa’s main priorities. The country is a goods and passengers hub for Southern Africa and therefore plays a major role in intracontinental and intercontinental air traffic.
In February 2009, AFD granted Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), the international airports public operator, a EUR 85 million loan over 15 years for the upgrade Johannesburg’s international airport. A second loan of EUR 200 million over 15 years was granted to promote the long-term upgrade of Cape Town’s international airport.
The project aims at contributing to the expansion and upgrade of Johannesburg and Cape Town’s international airports. The work undertaken by ACSA for these two airports include:
- Upgrade of the terminals (upgrade of the international and domestic terminals, creation of new central terminals for passengers);
- Development of taxiways (construction of new tarmacs and rehabilitation and extension of runways to accommodate the Airbus A380, the latest Airbus superjumbo airliner);
- Access improvement (improvement of the internal road network, extension of parking lots, and streamlining of services).
The project is strongly connected with urban transportation developments in order to facilitate access to the city and city-airport connections. The new central terminal accommodates the Gautrain, a fast train service commissioned that connects Johannesburg airport to Johannesburg’s neighbourhoods of Sandton, Rosebank and Parktown, as well as the city of Pretoria.
The project fosters economic growth and job creation through the development of domestic and international business air traffic, as well as through the development of tourism on a national, regional and international level. The tourism sector especially contributes to a large extent to job creation, both directly and indirectly. It is estimated that one direct job is created for about twelve new tourists in the country, and 1,100 new jobs are created in the year following the establishment of a new regular international air routes.
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