JSE-listed building materials supplier Afrimat is taking a R2.1bn bet that SA will not be able to wean itself off its coal dependency anytime soon. Afrimat, which has a market capitalisation of R4.4bn, has made an offer for Australia-listed Universal Coal. The bid for Universal Coal, which has operations in SA, flies in the face of a growing trend away from investments in fossil fuels. For example,  Nedbank, one of the big four banks, said earlier in 2019 it would no longer fund new coal-fired power stations. Explaining the rationale for Afrimat’s takeover offer for Australia-listed Universal Coal, CEO Andries van Heerden said SA was set to rely on coal-fired power stations for at least another 20 years. “SA needs reliable electricity supply which in turn is heavily reliant on responsible miners mining coal in a sustainable way.  We believe that Afrimat can make a significant contribution on this front. We are actively supporting renewable energy projects through our construction ma...

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