South Africa Covid-19 Response Development Policy Operation (WB-P174246)

  • South Africa
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Sep 22, 2020
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
Government of the Republic of South Africa
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Law and Government
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 750.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 750.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Jul 10, 2021

Disclosed by Bank Jul 24, 2020

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

According to bank documents, the program objectives of this operation are (i) to protect jobs, businesses and vulnerable households from the adverse socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and (ii) to open the economy to competition. The proposed operation consists of three pillars for a total of nine prior actions. 

The first pillar supports the opening of key sectors of the South African economy to private sector competition. It consists of four measures.

  1. The first measure is the launch of a one-stop-shop portal for business registration that significantly improves the ease of doing business.
  2. The second measure establishes a Deposit Insurance Scheme to protect depositors in South African banks.
  3. The third measure introduces private competition in the power market by raising by ten-folds the limit for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) installations to generate power without a license. The bulk of these SSEG rely on renewable energy.
  4. The fourth measure also addresses competition issues, by temporarily releasing high demand spectrum (HDS) to meet the spike in demand for broadband services enable licensees to lower cost of access to consumers through a competitive and innovative application process.

The second pillar of the DPO includes measures to mitigate the adverse socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses, jobs and vulnerable households.

  1. The first measure in this pillar supports the launch of an $11.7 billion Guaranteed Loan Scheme for SMEs with private banks, to help SMEs cover their operational costs.
  2. The second measure discourages layoffs, hence retaining jobs, by subsidizing wages of temporarily laid-off (furloughed) formal sector workers during the shutdown through monthly cash payments of no more than 363 USD per beneficiary until the end of lockdown.
  3. The third measure in this pillar channels relief payments to 17 million existing beneficiaries of the child support, old age, and disability grant for a period of 6 months, and provides cash grants of 19 USD per person to about 3 million unemployed people/ informal sector workers who do not receive any other assistance for a period of 6 months.
  4. The fourth measure introduced digital technology to enhance the coverage, transparency, targeting, and efficiency of a poverty-targeted COVID-response cash-transfer program.

The third pillar of this DPO supports South Africa’s commitment to create a pathway for a resilient economic recovery by fostering opportunities for green growth and, in particular, mitigating climate change. In line with the government’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement and its ambitious commitment to peak its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2025, this pillar’s measure focuses on strengthening the country’s Carbon Tax Act, a core policy in the country’s plan to build a low-carbon economy. Specifically, this measure establishes regulations for GHG emission intensity benchmarks in the industrial and mining sectors, emission allowances for sectors with respect to their trade exposure, and eligibility criteria and a procedure for accessing carbon offset allowances. It also provides a notice to support the purchasing of renewable energy.

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

World Bank:
Edouard Al-Dahdah
Senior Public Sector Specialist

Republic of South Africa
Nolundi Dikweni
Chief Director, Multilateral Banks

Implementing Agencies:
National Treasury
Nolundi Dikweni
Chief Director, Multilateral Banks

Thembi Mda
Senior Analyst: Debt Issuance & Management 


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The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing Information on how to file a complaint and a complaint request form are available at: 

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