ECONET and the Royal Bafokeng Holdings RBH) have announced a partnership to develop up to 175MW of solar energy assets in selected African countries.
RBH is a long-term African community investment holding company, with a legacy of partnering successfully with leading organisations to achieve real broad-based transformation. Under the deal RBH will invest up to US$20 million through Distributed Power Africa, Econet’s solar energy subsidiary. The investment would provide funding to boost DPA commercial and industrial solar projects in South Africa, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.
For RBH, this project is another step in its journey towards portfolio diversification and provides a long-term investment opportunity in making affordable, efficient energy widely accessible to businesses so that they can, in turn, empower communities.
“The partnership comes at an opportune time when the South African Government is encouraging investment in renewable energy and will accelerate the much-needed 6.8GW energy capacity, as outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019,” said RBH and DPA in a joint statement.
DPA Africa chief executive officer, Mr Norman Moyo, said the company has sought ways to ease the burden of deploying solar by ensuring its customers engage in a capital expenditure free model where they sign power lease agreements of up to 15 years.
“We are excited to partner with a like-minded African investor, RBH, to unlock access to sustainable energy for commercial and industrial customers in Africa. Access to energy is a key driver of Econet’s vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind,” he said.
His RBH counterpart, Albertina Kekana, highlighted that a key focus for RBH was investment in infrastructure with a focus that includes wind and solar in the energy space.
“We are particularly pleased about this opportunity as it enhances energy as a key enabler for the growth of sustainable data centres – now a major investment focus in our portfolio – as the demand for connectivity has been greatly increased by the pandemic,” she commented.
“We have partnered with a very dynamic business with a strong record of execution on the African continent who are backed by a very successful Group, Econet.”