Tshwane - The City of Tshwane and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) signed a 20-year loan facility for R1.6 billion on Thursday.

The funds from the long-term loan would be used for the city's capital expenditure programme, the city and the DBSA said in a joint statement.

It aimed to speed up the eradication of backlogs in water and sanitation, roads, electricity, and housing-related infrastructure, and support the city's growth and development.

City manager Jason Ngobeni said: “This level of capital investment in the city was, in part, necessitated by the need to improve the enlarged infrastructure of the city, which now includes the erstwhile municipalities of Metsweding, Nokeng Tsa Taemane, and Kungwini.”

For this financial year, just over a third of the city's capital programme was funded through long-term borrowing, with the rest made up through capital grants and internal resources.

DBDA group executive for the SA financing division TP Nchocho said the loan was part of the bank's ongoing and accelerated support to municipalities in eradicating infrastructure backlogs.

“In ensuring that metropolitan municipalities remain the heartbeat of the country's economic growth, the DBSA has therefore embarked on a process to package a comprehensive support programme aimed at addressing each metro's unique requirements while at the same time ensuring that the bank delivers on its development mandate,” Nchocho said. - Sapa