PRETORIA, November 5 – This evening, World Bank Group President David Malpass met with Enoch Godongwana, Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Africa.
President Malpass and Minister Godongwana discussed the challenging outlook for developing countries as they face slow growth, high inflation, and rising interest rates. President Malpass recognized South Africa’s progress on reducing fiscal deficit and underscored the importance of maintaining both fiscal and debt sustainability. President Malpass affirmed the World Bank Group’s (WBG) support for economic and structural reforms in the areas of fiscal management, quality infrastructure, a business-enabling regulatory framework, and job creation.
President Malpass and Minister Godongwana addressed the importance of energy sector reforms to address the ongoing energy crisis, which has resulted in rolling blackouts that undermine South Africa’s growth potential. President Malpass urged reforms to promote transparency and competition into the power market, encourage private investment into power generation, and improve the financial viability of Eskom.
President Malpass and Minister Godongwana also discussed South Africa’s energy transition toward a low emission economy and the investments that would be required. President Malpass was pleased to discuss SCALE with Minister Godongwana, the WBG's new multi-partner initiative that aims to bring global community resources – including grants and concessional loans – to support greenhouse gas reductions in developing countries. President Malpass also highlighted the WBG's recent Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) for South Africa, which prioritizes the actions and investments needed to lower emissions in a socially sustainable manner while strengthening resilience to climate change.
President Malpass was pleased to highlight WBG’s innovative support to decommission and repurpose the Komati coal-fired power plant using renewables and batteries while creating opportunities for the affected workers and communities, which was approved by the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors on November 3, 2022. President Malpass encouraged Minister Godongwana to maintain good momentum in the decommissioning process for other coal-fired plants while adding new, cleaner capacity to the grid and improving the overall grid. In this context, President Malpass highlighted the recent $500 million Climate Investment Funds (CIF) allocation to South Africa in support of coal decommissioning and a just transition.