INCA CAPACITY BUILDING FUND (ICBF)

Introduction

Municipalities play a crucial role in delivering a range of daily-use infrastructure services to residents and therefore impact daily and directly on the quality of life of residents.  Despite this vital role, government, private sector, and civil society all recognise that the municipal sector is often failing to provide the quality of services expected and respond to urbanisation challenges.

There are multiple causes for this failure, one of which is the deteriorating financial position of many municipalities and particularly inadequate long-term financial planning, budgeting and the lack of financing strategies for infrastructure investment.  The ICBF provides technical assistance grant funding for interventions that seek to make a positive contribution to this important function of municipalities.

Overview / history of ICBF

The INCA Capacity Building Fund (ICBF) is registered in terms of the Companies Act as a non-profit company.  It was established in 1998 as a joint venture between Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (INCA) and Agence Française de Development (AFD). The overall objective of ICBF is to build capacity and develop skills in the local government sector and specifically to focus on skills transfer and support to enhance municipal financial management capacity in the sector.

Following the establishment of the INCA Municipal Debt Fund (IMDF) in December 2020, we are proud to announce that the State Secretariat for Economic Development of Switzerland (SECO) joined the ICBF as member.  Through a grant from SECO the ICBF is accelerating its work programme with municipalities and the private sector funders of municipal debt.

Since its establishment, the INCA Capacity Building Fund targets strengthening the capacity of senior executives and key decision makers such as Municipal Managers, Chief Financial Officers, Heads of Treasury and Engineering Services, and Members of Mayoral Committee for Finance because of the impact this level of leadership has on the direction the municipality takes in delivering services to the community.

What we do

The ICBF’s 2 key objectives are:

  • The ICBF works in the municipal finance sector and helps to bridge the gap between municipalities and private sector financiers.

  • The ICBF provides technical assistance to municipalities to deepen and expand their financial management capacity, and specifically for long-term financial planning.

ICBF’s facilitating role in developing the local municipal debt market and improved financial capacity

Municipalities must become less dependent on grants from the fiscus and amongst others, leverage sustainable operational surpluses generated.  The first area of support provided by ICBF is to broaden and deepen the municipal debt market. In this respect the ICB is:

  • Informing the private sector capital of the municipal debt market as an investment opportunity and second,

  • Supporting municipalities with their long-term financial planning, budgeting and optimal funding strategies to accelerate their infrastructure investment programmes.

The municipal debt market is changing rapidly.  Municipalities are under increasing financial pressure with cuts in transfers from the National Government, declining revenue collection and increased demand from resident for infrastructure services.  Only a few municipalities are financially and institutionally capable to borrow in the debt market to improve their financial capacity.  With a slew of bad news emanating from the municipal sector, and particularly from the Auditor- General, its is not surprising that the private sector investors have been reluctant to invest in municipal debt instruments.

It is in this context that the ICBF is targeting municipalities to improve their financial management capacity, increase revenue collection, increase their liquidity and ultimately lower their risks profile.  Together these improved metrics / outcomes will allow municipalities to approach the debt market and start borrowing responsibly and sustainably. We support municipalities to prepare long-term-financial strategies to place them on the path of sustainability. 

However, the private sector has understandably been reluctant to consider municipal debt as a viable investment.  And it here where the ICBF plays a key role:  We engage with the private sector investors and provide them with accurate, honest and clear information on the municipal sector in general and on municipal-specific information.  The ICBF also creates opportunities where key decision makers from the financial and municipal sector can directly engage.  

The ICBF focus for 2021/22

This financial year the ICBF will focus on the following areas of work:

  • Accelerate its support to municipalities with the preparation of long-term financial plans.

  • In support of the newly established Inca Municipal Debt Fund (IMDF), mobilise private sector investors to participate in the municipal debt market.

  • Host range of capacity-building events for both municipal leadership and the private sector.

  • Identify key opportunities and challenges in the municipal sector and develop new pragmatic ideas and solutions in support of the sector.

  • Play a catalytic role in strengthening the cooperation between local private sector stakeholders and the municipality.

ICBF Partners

SECO:  Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development, a Swiss bilateral financial development institution

As a division of SECO, Economic Cooperation and Development contributes to achieving the strategic goals of Switzerland’s foreign economic policy. SECO plan and implement economic and trade policy measures to support developing countries as well as Eastern European countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the new member states of the European Union.

SECO is currently running some 500 programmes and projects that seek to help their partner countries in the South and the East integrate into the global economy and achieve a lasting improvement in their competitive standing. SECO's focus is on:

  • Strengthening of economic and financial policy

  • Expansion of urban infrastructure and utilities

  • Support for the private sector and entrepreneurship

  • Promotion of sustainable trade

  • Fostering of climate-friendly growth.

"Our work in all of these areas addresses the two cross-cutting themes of economic governance and gender equality. SECO also coordinates Switzerland’s relationship with the World Bank Group, regional development banks and the various economic commissions of the United Nations."

SECO systematically applies quality assurance, risk monitoring and results driven management as part of its programmes.

Website:              https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home.html

AFD

A public institution at the heart of the French development aid system, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has been working for more than seventy years to tackle poverty and to foster development in developing countries. It also supports economic and social development in the French overseas territories. 

Through grants, loans, reserve funds or debt-reducing and development contracts, it funds projects, programmes and studies and supports its partners in developing countries in their capacity building.

The AFD funds and assists development projects and programmes that support more sustainable and shared economic growth, improve the living conditions of the poorest people, contribute to the preservation of the planet and help to stabilise countries that are fragile or recovering from crises. In South Africa, AFD’s total commitments amount stands at EUR 2,5 billion since 2003, with a mandate dedicated to climate change and sustainable development: in particular a strong involvement to support the energy and low-carbon transition.

Web page:          https://www.afd.fr/en

IPM

INCA Portfolio Managers (“IPM”) is a niche portfolio management and advisory services company, registered as a Financial Services Provider with the Financial Services Board of South Africa (FSB) (Licence No. 43050).  The team at IPM has extensive experience of interacting, advising and lending to sub-sovereign entities for the implementation of infrastructure projects, as well as investing into Public Private Partnership projects and project finance transactions.

Through its involvement in the municipal infrastructure funding sector, IPM also diversified its upstream involvement by providing advisory services and provides capacity building support.  It acts as Programme Manger for the ICBF and is responsible for day-to-day operations and implementation of the Business Plan and the mobilisation of additional finance to sustain the workings of the ICBF.  In this respect it prides itself o the clean external audit reports the ICBF have received every year since its inception in 1998.

Governance

The ICBF Board comprises:

From AFD:

Carl Bernadac                                   Chair

Zoe Ramandou                                 Non-Executive

From SECO:

Barbara Buser                                   Non-Executive

Gerhard Pienaar                               Non-Executive

Jennifer Anthamatten                      Alternate

Franziska Spörri                                Alternate

From IPM:

Attie van Zyl                                      Executive Director

Joanne Whiting                                Executive Director

External Auditors:                             PKF (VGA) Chartered Accountants Inc

The ICBF Board meets once a quarter to enable IPM to report to the Board on project support provided by ICBF and progress made with the annual work plan, approved projects and to submit new proposals to the Board.

The ICBF reports annually on its Technical Assistance programme and is independently evaluated.  Financial statements are externally audited and the external auditors report directly to the ICBF Board on the outcome of their audit process and findings.  All of this is to ensure transparency, accountability and best corporate practices.  

Enquiries

As members and fund managers of ICBF, IPM is continually looking for new donor funding to supplement the available grants to fund the capacity building initiatives.

 

Please direct any enquiries to:

Jurgens van Zyl

Jurgens.vanzyl@inca.co.za

+27 (0)11 2022204