South Africa Metalworkers to Invest 1 Billion Rand in Renewables

Monday 29 April 2013

South African metalworkers’ pension funds will invest 1 billion rand ($109 million) in renewable- energy projects as a power-capacity shortage in the continent’s largest economy threatens outages as early as this winter.

The Metal Industries Benefit Funds Administrators, managing 400,000 members’ savings in two funds totaling 90 billion rand, plans to invest 1 billion rand in Mergence Investments Managers’ Renewable Energy Debt Fund, it said in a statement.

The plan follows changes to pension-fund rules that allow savings to be directed toward projects promoting environmental and social benefits, Omar Gire, principal officer of the administrators, said today in the e-mailed statement.

South Africa is seeking to boost generation by awarding contracts to build wind, solar and biomass plants after energy shortages halted mines and factories in 2008. State-run utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is struggling to meet growing demand.

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