CityPress - - Business & Tenders -

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba will nom­i­nate a Na­tional Trea­sury of­fi­cial to head the African Re­gional Cen­tre (ARC) of the New Devel­op­ment Bank (NDB), bet­ter known as the Brics Bank. Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will launch the re­gional cen­tre on Thurs­day in Sand­ton in Johannesburg.

Gi­gaba was eye­ing Tu­misang Moleke, chief direc­tor of Trea­sury’s pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) unit, to head up the cen­tre, sources close to Trea­sury told City Press. The an­nounce­ment will be made this week.

Zuma claimed that he had nom­i­nated former fi­nance min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene for the ARC head job when Zuma fired him in De­cem­ber 2015. How­ever, it is clear this was never the case.

Ac­cord­ing to Moleke’s LinkedIn pro­file, he has been em­ployed at Na­tional Trea­sury since 2005, when he started as a se­nior project ad­viser. He has headed the PPP unit since Novem­ber 2010.

Among those set to at­tend Thurs­day’s launch event are NDB pres­i­dent Kun­da­pur Va­man Kamath, as well as Cab­i­net min­is­ters such as Gi­gaba and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co­op­er­a­tion Min­is­ter Maite Nkoana-Masha­bane. The bank’s ARC of­fices will be lo­cated at 135 Daisy Street in Sand­ton. Nel­son Kg­wete, a spokesper­son for the in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions de­part­ment, said the ARC would have a “fully fledged of­fice”.

Gi­gaba’s spokeper­son, May­ihlome Tsh­wete, said Gi­gaba would nom­i­nate a Na­tional Trea­sury of­fi­cial to head the ARC at the launch event.

A strat­egy doc­u­ment on the NDB’s web­site maps out plans for the bank until 2021. It cites the main func­tions of the bank’s re­gional of­fices as iden­ti­fy­ing and pre­par­ing bank­able projects in the coun­tries mak­ing up Brics – Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa.

“The first re­gional of­fice is be­ing es­tab­lished in Johannesburg,” it states. “Sub­se­quent re­gional of­fices will be es­tab­lished as needs be in Brazil, Rus­sia and In­dia. The sec­ond re­gional of­fice will be in Brazil.”

Brics coun­tries signed the agree­ment es­tab­lish­ing the NDB at the Brics sum­mit of July 2014 held in Brazil. The bank’s head­quar­ters were opened in Shang­hai in China in Fe­bru­ary last year.

Since in­cep­tion, the NDB has lent $1.559 bil­lion (R21 bil­lion) to its mem­ber coun­tries. And, ac­cord­ing to the strat­egy doc­u­ment, the bank is fore­cast­ing that its cu­mu­la­tive loan ap­provals will in­crease by as much as $44.5 bil­lion by 2021, when its out­stand­ing loan port­fo­lio is set to to­tal $18.9 bil­lion.

The bank was set up with au­tho­rised cap­i­tal of $100 bil­lion and an ini­tial sub­scribed cap­i­tal of $50 bil­lion.

The strat­egy doc­u­ment out­lines the NDB’s key ar­eas of op­er­a­tion as be­ing in the sec­tors of clean en­ergy, trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, ir­ri­ga­tion, wa­ter re­source man­age­ment and san­i­ta­tion, and ur­ban devel­op­ment, as well as eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and in­te­gra­tion. It says NDB’s staff count will rise from its cur­rent tally of 150 to 400 by 2021.

In an­other devel­op­ment, former SA Re­serve Bank gov­er­nor Tito Mboweni an­nounced the fol­low­ing in a Face­book post this week: “I was ‘re­moved’ by the South African govern­ment as a nonex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Brics Bank last week. They have their own logic and rea­sons for do­ing that. I served for two years and at the time of my ap­point­ment, I was told, via a let­ter from [then fi­nance min­is­ter] Nh­lanhla Nene, that the term was a re­new­able one. But alas, this has not been the case.

“Fired, you might say! It’s okay. They are the govern­ment of the day, af­ter all. They can do as they wish.”

Tsh­wete said Mboweni’s ten­ure on the Brics Bank board started on July 3 2015 and ended on July 2 2017.

Na­tional Trea­sury direc­tor-gen­eral Dondo Mo­ga­jane would be South Africa’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Brics Bank board, he added.

Deputy fi­nance min­is­ter Sfiso Buthelezi has been ap­pointed as an al­ter­nate NDB gov­er­nor. Monale Rat­soma, a Na­tional Trea­sury deputy direc­tor-gen­eral, would be the al­ter­nate NDB direc­tor.

New Devel­op­ment Bank’s lend­ing op­er­a­tions

– Justin Brown

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