African economies need reliable, regionally integrated transport infrastructure to facilitate access to markets and grow import and export capacity.
Standard Bank has been closely involved in the development of the Port of Maputo over the past 16 years, supporting the port’s evolution into an efficient, well-equipped and highly competitive facility. In 2003, Standard Bank was among the initial lenders when the port was concessioned, and we have continued to support the port’s development, including providing finance toward both the first and second major dredging operations of the port over the period between 2011 to 2018, ensuring the port continues to compete regionally and globally through its ability to accommodate larger vessels and handle greater volumes of cargo. Since the dredging process was completed, productivity rates have improved substantially, turnaround times are highly competitive, and the introduction of new equipment is enabling further improvements to operational efficiency, and increased handling capacity.
In 2019 we co-arranged and participated in two further major long-term financings, for a combined nominal funding amount of approximately USD140 million, to enable the ongoing expansion and development of the port, including infrastructure upgrades in preparation for the higher capacity vessels now able to call on the port, and handling equipment to further increase efficiencies and maintain the port’s competitiveness.
Telkom is a leading telecommunications service provider in South Africa. Services include fixed-line voice and data services, broadband solutions, mobile communication services, data centre operations, cloud and workspace services, and hardware and network equipment sales, among others. The South African government is the largest shareholder with a 39% stake.
Telkom has identified mobile services as a growth area for the group and sought long-term funding to enable the purchase of Huawei equipment to the value of USD600 million (R9.7 billion) to support its next generation of products. The ten-year loan period extends beyond normal bank appetite for top tier corporates. However, ICBC and SBSA were able to provide Telkom with an appropriate funding solution by structuring a deal inclusive of a buyers’ credit policy from Sinosure. ICBC and SBSA acted as joint arrangers and original lenders. The Sinosure-covered facility of R2 billion is funded by ICBC and SBSA on a 50:50 basis. SBSA also provided the down payment facility to facilitate the payment of the 15% deposit. Telkom can access up to R865 million. The deal marks the first time that Sinosure has provided a buyers’ credit policy in South Africa, and the first ZAR funding solution raised from China for Telkom.
In 2019, we were honoured to receive the UN’s Sustainable City and Human Settlements Award, together with our project partners the City of Johannesburg and residential property developer Calgro M3, for the South Hills Integrated Housing project.
When complete, the development, south of the Johannesburg CBD, will comprise 5 845 residential opportunities. It has been recognised as a global green model community for its “outstanding demonstration in promoting sustainable cities and human settlements, as well as the implementation of sustainable development goals”. The development comprises a mix of fully-subsided homes, subsidised rental units, and bonded units and free-stranding houses. It is situated on a transport node only six kilometres from the Johannesburg CBD, offering access to transport, job opportunities, and local amenities, including schools, shops and hospitals. The development hopes to reverse the trend of urban sprawl by integrating the various income groups into the existing urban fabric creating a sustainable environment.
The South Hills Integrated Housing project was allocated to SBSA by the City of Johannesburg. The purpose of the tender was to release the land for the development of affordable housing and in doing so encourage the involvement of the major financial institutions in the direct provision of affordable housing. SBSA has partnered with Calgro M3, established developers in the sector, in a joint venture company known as South Hills Development Company Proprietary Limited. SBSA provides equity and operational funding, as well as bridge funding to facilitate the construction of the bulk services. The total development cost of the project is over R3 billion.
Over 70% of the units fall within the Financial Sector Charter definition of affordable housing. The development includes provision for two new schools and a number of creches, multi-purpose sites, as well as a neighbourhood shopping centre and 112 hectares of green space for recreational purposes. These spaces are professionally landscaped and include children’s play facilities and walking trails. The houses are built to be energy efficient and water efficient, supporting a healthier living environment and reducing long-term energy costs for owners and tenants, through use of gas, solar and solar farming, heat pumps, induction geysers, energy-saving lights and prepaid meters for water and electricity.
Many of Uganda’s government primary schools are not on the electricity grid. This provides a considerable obstacle to teaching and creates safety concerns for learners. In 2019, Stanbic Uganda partnered with M-kopa to enable 22 primary schools in Eastern Uganda to access solar-powered electricity for classrooms and administration blocks. By ensuring access to electricity in these schools, we aim to improve attendance by teachers and learners, enable learners to study after hours, and encourage greater commitment from parents to sending their children to school. We’ve also provided learners with study booklets to assist them in their studies. 105 teachers and 5 300 learners have benefitted from the project, including 450 final year learners. The classrooms are also available for use by local communities after school hours. Nawandala Primary School has gone even further, using the solar installation as a launchpad to start a boarding section for their candidate class, and a school farm to feed the pupils. Standard Bank has provided the school with 52 beds, mattresses and blankets to furnish the boarding section.