New Development Bank bank president KV Kamath. Picture: REUTERS
New Development Bank bank president KV Kamath. Picture: REUTERS

The New Development Bank has already approved $680m (about R9.8bn) in project financing for SA, finance minister Tito Mboweni has disclosed in a written reply to a parliamentary question.

The minister was replying to a question by DA MP Alan McLoughlin who wanted to know what benefit SA had derived from being a partner of the New Development Bank, a joint project by the Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA (Brics) trade group.

There has been criticism that SA does not derive as much benefit as other countries from the bank, but its president KV Kamath has insisted in media interviews that the bank wants to be equitable in its lending to its five member countries.

In addition to the project financing, Mboweni noted that the bank employs 18 South African professionals both at the Africa Regional Centre in Sandown and at the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai, China.

Questioned about the reported move by China to re-introduce a gold standard for the Chinese yuan, Mboweni said this has not happened and the matter has not been discussed under the auspices of the Brics finance ministers’ and central bank governors’ meetings.

The projects funded by the New Development Bank in SA include a $200m loan to Transnet to rehabilitate its container terminals in Durban. In May, it also activated a $180m dormant loan to Eskom for use in building transmission lines and a sub-station for the Soweto area to integrate renewable-energy projects from independent power producers (IPPs).

ensorl@businesslive.co.za