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DBSA: the partnership couldn’t have come at a better moment

October 4, 2016

Johannesburg is part of the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Program.
Johannesburg is part of the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Program.

By the DBSA GEF Coordination Unit, Midrand, South Africa

The Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) made a deliberate declaration, through its mission statement, to advance the impact of development in the Africa region by expanding access to development finance and effectively integrating and implementing sustainable development solutions, improving people's quality of life through investment in infrastructure and thus supporting social and economic growth and regional integration. Accreditation to the GEF is a milestone in the DBSA’s efforts to strengthen partnerships that advance its mandate to finance low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally inclined development infrastructure. The initiatives that have already materialized between the GEF and DBSA, within two years of their partnership, testify to the valuable nature of this relationship.

Focussing on the energy, water, transport and information and communications technology sectors, the DBSA has positioned itself as one of the ideal development finance institutions in Southern Africa. It has, in partnership with other institutions, provided funding for the globally commended Independent Power Producer (IPP) Programme for renewable energy. The GEF partnership couldn’t have come at a better moment. At the time when small and medium players in the IPP programme face a myriad of challenges, including difficulties in accessing financial resources, the blending of the DBSA’s Small IPP debt facility and the GEF-funded equity scheme is seen both as innovative and the most needed financial mechanism to address barriers to the participation of SMEs in the renewable energy sector, that catalyzes this market, resulting in social and economic benefits. The proposed investments under this programme will result in the installation of close to 100MW of renewable energy, reducing emissions by the equivalent of about 260,000 tons of CO2 a year - the equivalent of an estimated 5 million tons CO2 over an assumed average project lifetime of 20 years. This programme, alone, will leverage about USD 200 million in co-financing.

Municipal funding and non-lending services are an intrinsic part of the DBSA's core mandate. Its participation in the GEF Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach initiative, through implementing the City of Johannesburg project, again demonstrates the complementarity of the GEF – DBSA partnership, ensuring an increased impact of the DBSA investments, which upon replication, will result in resilient and resource-efficient South African cities. The DBSA looks forward to the continuation of its partnership with the GEF, a relationship that is destined for a low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable development trajectory in South Africa. Congratulations to the GEF on its 25th Anniversary!