Nothing demonstrates corporate SA’s duplicitous attitude to environmental, social and governance issues quite like the speed with which major banks fall over themselves to ensure they get a slice of whatever project is on the horizon — no matter what’s involved. No wonder there was scepticism and confusion regarding their decision to terminate dealings with the Gupta family in 2016. Up to that point it seemed there was nothing and nobody who would not get funding from a South African bank. The lure of fees and the chance to sign off on another major loan facility tend to be the overwhelming consideration for businesses mesmerised by a six-month time horizon. Nothing demonstrates this more forcefully than the manner in which all four of the big banks – Nedbank, Barclays Africa, FirstRand and Standard – have signed up as potential funders of the proposed Thabametsi coal-fired power plant. The Centre for Environmental Rights pointed out last August that is it apparent from the climate ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.