Johannesburg, November 1, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Sasfin Bank today announced a partnership to develop a portfolio of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with South African small and medium enterprises. The new advisory services agreement will support a $10 million line of credit provided by IFC to Sasfin earlier in the year to expand lending to projects that will help smaller businesses in South Africa become more energy efficient, sustainable, and more competitive over the long term to contribute to economic growth and employment.
The project is co-funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and follows an earlier engagement during which USAID funded and assisted Sasfin develop its energy efficiency and renewable energy financing strategy in consultation with IFC.
Roland Sassoon, Sasfin Bank’s CEO, said: “South African companies are seeking energy alternatives and to improve their efficiency. Sasfin wants to build on our relationship with IFC to offer our private sector clients financing for new solutions to meet their sustainable energy needs.”
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager for Southern Africa said. “Supporting South African projects that improve energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources is a high priority for IFC and major business opportunity. IFC wants to help South African businesses reduce their energy costs to become more competitive so that they can grow and employ more people.”
H. E. Christian Meuwly, Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of South Africa said “Switzerland is committed to providing support to private sector initiatives that promote efficient and renewable energy, and we hope our funding will lay the foundation for substantial expansion of these projects in South Africa.”
The advisory services partnership announced today aims to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency financial products for SME manufacturing and services firms, execute energy audits, and train bank staff. It will also examine the energy services company (ESCO) marketplace in South Africa and enable Sasfin develop energy measurement and verification protocols.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
The Economic Cooperation and Development Division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO is focusing its projects on the promotion of sustainable economic growth based on a market economy. More specifically, SECO is involved in providing measures to support macroeconomic policy reforms, infrastructure projects and programs for promoting trade and investment. Important principles for cooperation are good governance and the mobilization of private resources (capital and know-how).For more information, visit www.seco-cooperation.ch
Sasfin Bank Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasfin Holdings Limited, a mid-tier specialist banking and financial services group focusing on entrepreneurial corporate, commercial small and medium enterprise (SME), and private clients. Sasfin was established in 1951 and has been listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) since 1987. For more information, visit www.sasfin.com/