IDFC Expert

The IDFC Facility launches of the NUCA Programme with the DBSA in South Africa: the many key partners in the project are in full swing

29 April 2024

Following the approval of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), DBSA is the first partner of the IDFC to honour the launch of the Urban Climate Action Programme (NUCAP). The aim of the programme is to support the development of low-carbon, climate-resilient urban infrastructure, and its success depends on synergies between a diverse ecosystem of stakeholders from key ministries, local authority administrations, donor partners and civil society.  CAF is following suit, inviting its key partners to the launch of the programme at a multi-stakeholder workshop in Bogotá on 16 May.

The moderator Mustapha Kleiche, Head of IDFC Facility, and the panelists Chantyle Shongwe (DBSA), Dhesigen Naidoo (PCC), Dorah Modise (C40), Unathi Mntonintshi (SALGA). © DBSA

The multi-stakeholder workshop hosted by DBSA on 11 April marks the starting of this programme in South Africa. For this occasion, the IDFC Coordination Unit and DBSA teams invited a panel of key partners to discuss the priority issues to be addressed by the NUCA Programme.

Cities in South Africa are already feeling the effects of climate change, such as severe water shortages, flooding and forest fires. A reliable and uninterrupted supply of electricity is also a key issue for South African municipalities. Yet cities face technical and financial obstacles when it comes to mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. Most lack the expertise and resources to deploy resilient, low-carbon infrastructure. Unathi Mntonintshi, Senior Manager in the infrastructure and transport sector and a specialist at SALGA, welcomed the programme’s ambitions and challenged the audience by reminding that investors have to take a little more risk at engaging with local governments, because of the risks that everyone is taking to deal with climate change.

To which Chantyle Shongwe, Project Manager in the Urban Planning department at DBSA, concurred. She also pointed out that the DBSA plays a leveraging role in the challenges faced by municipalities.  Because DBSA finances major infrastructure projects for municipalities, with the priority of integrating resilience in urban planning, the development bank plays a central role in urban climate adaptation. In addition, the DBSA plays a transformational role in climate change mitigation, as it is responsible for contributing to the Just Energy Transition (JET) targets and financing mechanisms.

The participants to the workshop from SANBi and from municipalities © DBSA

Closing the panel, Dorah Modise, Regional Director of C40, recalled the diversity of the challenges South African municipalities are facing, which must be taken into account at all times in a programme of the scale of NUCA Programme. In this respect, all the speakers were unanimous: active collaboration and sustained knowledge sharing are essential to meet the needs of municipalities to prepare for a transition to low-emission cities that are highly resilient to climate change.

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