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How the Development Bank of Southern Africa has responded to the Covid-19 crisis

The DBSA has committed R150m for Covid-19 related interventions. Picture: Supplied

The DBSA has committed R150m for Covid-19 related interventions. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 19, 2020


The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by playing a pivotal role in preparing in advance for the surge in the testing requirements when the lockdown is further relaxed and the economy starts opening.  

Their mission is to advance and expand access to development finance and effectively integrating and implementing sustainable development for socio economic impact and effectively integrating and implementing sustainable development solutions to:

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- Improve the quality of life of people through the development of social infrastructure


Support economic growth through the investment in economic infrastructure

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Support regional integration


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Promote sustainable use of scarce resources

With multiple layers to the Covid-19 crisis unfolding in front of our eyes, our political leaders and global governance structures are being severely tested. Their job is made all the harder by low levels of public trust and broken social compacts in many parts of the world. “Governments and the World Health Organisation will not defeat coronavirus alone; the private sector must also play a key role”, said Patrick Dlamini: CEO of DBSA

As companies and government respond to Covid-19, leaders who back moral statements with practical action will stand out.

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The DBSA has committed R150m for Covid-19 related interventions, addressing both the immediate and short-term humanitarian interventions necessary to help fight the pandemic and initiatives with a long-term focus that will enable the DBSA to play a meaningful role in the economic recovery of our country and continent.

Humanitarian interventions have been implemented to alleviate the hardship and suffering of the country’s most vulnerable groups. The interventions include the following:

R1,000,000, food parcel vouchers

for families around the Tembisa; Randjesfontein and Olivenhoutbosch areas in Johannesburg.

National Disaster Management Center - R15m

The National Coronavirus Command Centre is responsible for coordinating the national response to the pandemic, creating awareness, implementing preventative measures and the overall management of the outbreak. An amount of R15m has been set aside for the staffing and software procurement for the Disaster Center in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Healthcare support to SADC - R30,5m

The DBSA has allocated funding to support SADC Members States’ health care response to Covid -19. The countries receiving support include Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Eswatini. This will enable our neighbours to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), said Dlamini.

Covid-19 testing support - R27,1m

Provision of Covid-19 testing capacity support (equipment, testing kits resources) to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Ventilator production - R6,9m

A key concern in the fight against the pandemic has been a shortage of ventilators worldwide. This amount will go towards the production of ventilators through the CSIR’s Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Non-Invasive Ventilators Project.

Short term interventions

These are initiatives that are being spearheaded and fast-tracked by local governments to ensure that vulnerable communities are cushioned from the negative impacts of the pandemic and receive critical supplies that mitigate the spread of the virus.

Mobile testing units - R26,1m

This amount will go towards the provision of mobile prefabricated testing units and the refurbishment of existing facilities in 25 district municipalities in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West.

Provision of basic services - R41,4m

DBSA will support the Government with the provision of potable water, ablution facilities and the provision of mobile electricity infrastructure .

Long term interventions

These interventions are projects aligned to the DBSA’s strategy and include the Infrastructure Fund, the District Delivery Model, non-financial support to under-resourced municipalities and the High Impact Investment Fund.

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