The State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which is emerging from a far-reaching restructuring exercise, disbursed R9.2-billion in 2012/13 to support infrastructure projects in South Africa and the broader Southern African Development Community (SADC) – in 2011/12, the development finance institution disbursed R8-billion.
However, approvals were lower at R18.1-billion, having already fallen to R24.8-billion in 2011/12, from a peak of R34-billion in 2010/11.
The DBSA also reported a net loss of R826-million, which it attributed to impairment losses on development loans of R1.6-billion and revaluation losses on financial instruments of R403-million.
The impairments were attributed mainly to non-public sector investments, which the bank said were susceptible to changes in the economic conditions. In future, the DBSA would focus predominately on financing public infrastructure projects in the water, sanitation, energy, transportation and information communication technology sectors.
The bank, which is led by CEO Patrick Dlamini, reported that 81% of disbursements flowed towards projects in South Africa, with the balance being directed to the rest of SADC.
During the year, the bank disbursed R5.6-billion to energy projects, primarily renewable-energy developments being built in South Africa, and R1.4-billion for domestic water infrastructure projects. It also invested R248-million in affordable-housing schemes and R50.2-million in student-accommodation initiatives.
Approvals for the region rose to R5.6-billion from a level of R3.8-billion in 2011/12, of which R2.9-billion was approved for energy and transport initiatives in Angola, Mozambique and Zambia. Regional disbursements for the year were R1.6-billion.
In the municipal market, the DBSA increased disbursements by 36.5% to R1.2-billion and made approvals worth R2.3-billion in finance for the large metropolitan councils and a further R937-million for secondary and under-resourced municipalities.
It also provided non-financing services, supporting eight municipalities with turnaround strategies and facilitating the completion of 24 projects as part of the bank’s operations and maintenance programme.
Non-financing support was also extended to the Green Fund, the Vulindlela Academy and government’s Accelerated School Infrastructure Development Programme.
“Despite the current losses, the board and management recognises that there are enormous challenges and opportunities within the current infrastructure development environment and will continue to build the organisation to maximise its development impact on a sustainable basis through the long-term investment cycle,” Dlamini said in a statement.