China and South Africa have struck US$6.5 billion (approximately AU$8.88 billion) worth of infrastructure agreements to foster trade and investment between the two countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced 26 deals were signed during a four-day visit to the South African nation this week.

While $2.5 billion is going towards South Africa’s state-owned rail operator and a $500 million loan to South Africa’s state power company, a series of loans have also been made to other African nations to meet their building infrastructure needs.

At the same time, blueprints were drafted to build a car manufacturing plant in another African nation where deals were also made.

In return, the unidentified African nations will provide oil and other vital commodities to the Chinese government.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, the investments took place after trading in Africa dropped 40 per cent in the first half of the year. President Jinping’s visit to South Africa has been regarded as a move to reaffirm African countries that China’s slowed growth will not limit its future investment in the continent.

In fact, the deals will see China become the continent’s largest free-trade partner with commerce measurements expected to exceed $300 billion this year.

The prominence of President Jinping's tour became clear after South African Minister in the Presidency Jeffrey Radebe detailed the country’s 15-year relationship with the second largest economy in the world.

“China is the biggest trading partner not only with South Africa but Africa as a whole, which indicates that the future is with China,” he said.

“We need to nurture this relationship and cooperation so that it is mutually beneficial.”

Before the summit, Chinese and South African firms had announced $930 million worth of investment into the metal, energy and medical sectors.

China was expected to discuss international relations with South Africa, after Nigeria took over the country as Africa’s biggest economy in 2013.

Deals made between the two nations are expected to further promote cooperation in maritime transport, offshore gas resource development and ocean platform building.

The major benefit to African communities will be an agreement to expand the continent’s health care sectors. Information in the fields of health care delivery systems, biomedical science and public health will be exchanged to benefit communities with remote access to healthcare.

Future funding will be made available to South Africa to further promote the infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing industries.

China has pledged to provide $1 trillion in funding to African countries by 2025, according to officials at the Export-Import Bank of China.

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