South Africa says Airbus repayment deal close


South Africa’s negotiations with European aerospace group EADS for the repayment of R2,9-billion could be finalised before the end of this year, a senior military official says.

Last year, South Africa pulled out of Europe’s largest defence project when it cancelled a $5,2-billion contract to buy eight military transport aircraft from the Airbus parent due to rising costs and delivery delays, Reuters reports.
“I cannot disclose the details of the negotiations but I can indicate to you it’s looking very good,” Mpumi Mpofu, South Africa’s Secretary for Defence, told reporters.

Africa’s largest economy has not ruled out considering Airbus in future tenders, as it seeks to update an ageing air fleet with a strategic airlift capacity seen as vital to its peace-keeping efforts on the continent.