Mohale Rakgate. File photo: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Mohale Rakgate. File photo: FREDDY MAVUNDA

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has appointed long-serving official Mohale Rakgate to head the infrastructure fund, the lender said in a statement on Monday.

Rakgate who joined the DBSA in 2007, was previously the group executive for project preparation, helping to establish the bank’s project and programme development capabilities which resulted in national programmes such as the independent power producer (IPP) programme.

Rakgate’s role is effective from October 1 and he will be responsible for setting up the fund through a dedicated implementation unit that will be housed at the DBSA.

The fund, first mooted in 2018, is being established to help drive SA’s infrastructure ambitions, which it hopes will reignite growth and help boost job creation.

Already weak before the coronavirus struck after years of policy uncertainty and slow reform, the pandemic hit SA’s economy particularly hard.

During the second quarter under the worst of the lockdown restrictions, GDP contracted 51% on an annualised basis. Gross fixed capital formation, an indicator of investment in the economy, plunged almost 60%.

The appointment follows the signing of a memorandum of agreement in August — between the Treasury, the department of public works and the DBSA — that set out the DBSA’s mandate to establish and manage the fund.

As the group executive for the fund, Rakgate will facilitate the financial structuring, procurement and implementation of priority blended finance projects and programmes, the bank said.

Rakgate joined the DBSA after a stint at the International Finance Corporation in Washington DC where he worked on projects in different regions across the developing world, the statement reads.

His qualifications include a BCom from the University of Limpopo, and an MSc in global finance from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and New York University’s Stern School of Business.

He has also completed an advanced management programme at Harvard Business School, as well as the project and infrastructure programme at London Business School.

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