Johannesburg – The treasury had proposed allocating an extra R5.2 billion to help out key government projects and institutions in the 2007/08 financial year, it announced yesterday.

The additional funds, whose recipients include construction projects for the 2010 soccer World Cup and a high-profile nuclear energy research and development programme, will be debated by legislators today.

Under the proposals, the department of communications will get R500 million for state telecommunications signal distributor Sentech, which it will use to establish a broadband wireless network.

South Africa’s broadband internet access costs, which are among the highest in the world, are an obstacle to the roll-out of technology to the poor. They inflate the cost of doing business in Africa’s biggest economy.

The treasury said R222 million more would go to state-owned defence firm Denel, which has received billions of rand in assistance over the past three years. The arms manufacturer cut its net loss for the year to March to R549 million from a loss of R1.36 billion in the previous year.

The pebble bed modular reactor, a nuclear technology project backed by state-owned power utility Eskom, will receive an additional R1.8 billion. The government is seeking to boost energy capacity as the country’s electricity grid struggles to cope with demand.

The Fifa World Cup will be granted an additional R1.9 billion.

“The proposed adjustment is necessary to ensure that stadium construction programmes are not constrained by cash flow shortages,” the treasury said in its statement.

An additional R700 million will go to the Land Bank, which provides financial services to the commercial farming sector and to agricultural-based businesses. Annual results posted on the bank’s website show that its net loss for the year to March 2006 improved to R125.4 million from a R207.6 million loss the year before.

South Africa exceeded its revenue target by R3 billion in the 2006/07 financial year, thanks to strong economic growth and improved collection.