The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) concluded its fourth annual meeting in Cape Town on Tuesday this week, with five new projects approved for funding by the bank’s board of directors.
Among these is the TCTA in which the Lesotho highlands water project will receive a US$220 million (about M3.3 billion) loan that will finance the construction of water transfer infrastructure and Lesotho stands to benefit because the bulk of the infrastructure will be built in Lesotho and help to create jobs and grow the economy.
The five projects, three of them from South Africa, will bring the NDB’s project portfolio funds to more than US$9.2 billion (about M100 billion).
The three South African projects are proposed by state-owned power utility Eskom, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), and the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA).
Once the NDB’s board of directors approve a project for funding, the bank’s management and the entity to be funded will enter into negotiations to reach a loan agreement.
The NDB will provide a US$480 million project loan to Eskom for the environmental protection project for its Medupi Thermal Power Plant.
The bank will also provide an US$80 million loan to the IDC for renewable energy sub-projects contributing to the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, improvement of South Africa’s energy sector mix, as well as the increase of energy efficiency of the economy.
The annual meeting of NDB was “a resounding success,” the South African National Treasury said.
South African Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni urged the NDB to consider funding more infrastructure projects in the southern African region.
“The infrastructure in southern Africa is interconnected and therefore our approach to the funding of projects in southern Africa should take this into account,” the minister said.
One of the other major outcomes of the meeting was an in-principle agreement to expand the membership of the NDB beyond the founding members.
Negotiations in this regard are ongoing, with an announcement expected by the end of the year.
The two-day meeting, under the theme of “Partnership for Sustainable Development,” stressed the importance of strengthening collective efforts and partnerships to bridge the infrastructure gaps among BRICS countries.
The meeting also addressed the needs of the member countries and other emerging markets in the development process.