Railways could get R137bn injection from government

The South African government has agreed to fund R137-billion of investment in modern rail infrastructure, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

Such a large commitment would place more strain on an already tight government budget.

The paper quoted the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) chief executive Lucky Montana as saying Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan could announce the first tranche of the finance package in his 2012 budget in February.

“There will be no private funding at all. It will all be from the fiscus because the cost of private funding will be huge and unaffordable,” Montana said.

The treasury could not immediately comment on the possible funding.

The majority of South African commuters use privately operated minibus taxis, which more expensive but more reliable than passenger rail services. — Reuters

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