The New Development Bank was formally open for business and South Africans were encouraged to apply as the bank had begun its recruitment process, National Treasury said on Monday.
In a statement, Treasury said the People’s Republic of China and the New Development Bank signed an agreement regarding the headquarters of the bank in Shanghai on February 27.
This agreement marks the completion of legal procedures that pave the way for the bank to begin its operations.
The bank was in the process of establishing its Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg, as announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his 2016 Budget Speech last month.
“This initiative gives impetus to our role as a financial centre for Africa, and will facilitate access to global finance by African investors and institutions,” Gordhan said in a statement.
Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is a nominee to head the Africa regional centre of the New Development Bank, but last month Nene told the Financial Mail that he had still not received a formal offer to join the Brics bank.
According to the 2016 Budget Review, South Africa’s first instalment of R2 billion was paid in December last year, and the budget makes provision for further commitments over the medium term.
The bank, which opened its headquarters in Shanghai in July 2015, is backed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
The bank lends money to developing countries to help finance infrastructure projects and is seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
– African News Agency (ANA)