International banking and wealth management group, Investec has announced an effort that will assist in decreasing carbon emissions. This initiative aims to assist their private banking clients to finance the installation of solar panels and battery storage unit for their personal homes. This news is light of Eskom’s application to increase the electricity price by a staggering 20.5%, despite South Africa’s annual headline inflation of only 5.9%. If the proposed price hike is implemented, it will add to the already strained incomes of many households across South Africa and most likely result in further economic distress amongst the populace.
As such, Investec seeks to conduct a pilot programme wherein 1000 of their clients will be eligible to utilize a housing loan facility or have specific amounts advanced to them so as to enable the installation of the necessary solar power facilities. Depending on the size of the property, the costs of this would be in
the range of only R150000 – a small investment which would definitely pay dividends over the long-term as state-owned entity, Eskom, continues its nose dive down the rabbit hole.
Investec prides itself with environmental affairs and has proved this by achieving carbon neutrality since early 2020. In a statement by Fani Titi, joint CEO of Investec, he emphasized that: “being carbon neutral is vital to the fortunes of future generations and reflects the leading role Investec wants to play in the
wellbeing of our communities”. This attitude has now been extended to assist their clients in times of ongoing uncertainty surrounding surging electricity prices and continual load-shedding. Despite South Africans’ willingness to adapt to the aforementioned, it has become increasing worse over the past
decade; with little to no hope of reprieve. The South African government hopes to only achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050; however, it is unlikely that their efforts (e.g.; Eskom Just Energy Transition Plan) will offer sufficient absolution for the future of our natural environment. This sentiment can be substantiated by the unwillingness of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to enter into any agreement or pledge regarding a move away from fossil fuels in last year’s (2021) Conference of Parties (COP26).
As we approach the end of another financial year, nobody can truly anticipate what will be said in the upcoming State of the Nation address and National Treasury’s annual budget speech. With this in mind, it would be astute to consider the offer made available by Investec, as they even plan on giving their clients
the flexibility to access multiple providers and exclusive solutions. Take up the mantle of shining your
own light this 2022 and don’t be left in the dark.