The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has been granted a R1,5-billion loan by the Development Bank for Southern Africa (DBSA) to be used as funding for its infrastructure development programme, the firms announced on Wednesday.

Acsa planned to invest R22-billion in upgrading its airports by 2012.

“We have approached a number of financial institutions and we are pleased that the DBSA agreed to partner with us. The loan will go a long way toward meeting Acsa’s funding requirements. Discussions with other institutions are continuing,” commented Acsa group treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi.

DBSA divisional executive for the northern cluster Bethuel Netshiswinzhe said in a statement that this signified the bank’s commitment to contribute towards the development of economic infrastructure, which was much needed for the further growth and development of the country.

“We are delighted to be part of this expansion programme designed to increase the capacity of our airports to meet the expectations of the travelling public, including thousands of soccer-loving fans expected to descend on our shores for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond,” Netshiswinzhe said.