Consortium Thelo DB receives blank cheque to build railways in Africa

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JOHANNESBURG - South African-German consortium Thelo DB has received an open chequebook to develop railways in Africa, with SA as a base for project development.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) has signed an agreement to fund any railway projects that need to be developed.

This agreement was announced at the Africa Investment Forum in Sandton on Tuesday, with the company likened to Mara Phones, which wowed investors last year.

Deals struck at the forum were usually ranked by value.

But Thelo DB has no limit to how much it can spend, yet Afrexim bank has backed it anyway.

Thelo DB chairman Ronnie Ntuli said the jobs that would be created were unlimited.

“Our agreement with DB is to not import skills from outside the continent but to develop domestic African skills. If you look at any railway projects, whether it’s construction or sustainably into the long term the operations, it’s a big job creator.”

Ntuli said rail would connect the continent the same way it did Europe, America and Asia, and open up much-needed logistics for imports and exports and utilise minerals, steel and other resources.

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