Herbert Smith Freehills ESG Tracker (SADC Edition)

There are so many ESG–related publications and developments that it is hard to keep abreast of them all. For this reason, HSF publishes a monthly tracker of ESG–related publications and developments, with a primary focus on developments that may be of most interest to or impact our clients in the Southern African Development Community, be they corporates, asset managers or asset owners.

Key updates covered in this edition include:

  • South Africa: The National Council of Provinces passed the Employment Equity Bill [B14–2020] and it has been sent it to President for assent. Among other things, the Employment Equity Bill aims to: (i) reduce the regulatory burden on small business; (ii) empower the Minister of Employment and Labour to regulate sector specific employment equity numbers; (iii) give effect to section 53 of the Employment Equity Act which provides for the issuing of Employment Equity Compliance Certificates; and (iv) eliminate all current employment equity plans.
  • South Africa: The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment published a notice granting holders of rights under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 applied for before 20 November 2015, an extension to comply with the 2015 Financial Provisioning Regulations. The extension is granted for 15 months, ie, until 19 September 2023. The extension was granted because the amendments to the 2015 Financial Provisioning Regulations published on 27 August 2021 have not yet been finalised.
  • Africa: The African Development Bank commenced virtual consultations on its updated Integrated Safeguards System, which is designed to adequately address emerging environmental and social issues. The stakeholder consultation will last for 45 days and take place across multiple African regions.
  • Africa: The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification took place from 9 to 20 May 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The theme of COP15 is "Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity". The focus is sustainable solutions for land restoration and resilience, with the intention of "future–proofing" land use
  • Africa: The African Export–Import Bank signed an agreement with the African Petroleum Producers Organization in terms of which the parties will establish an African Energy Transition Bank to provide support for an African–led energy transition strategy. The institution will aid Africa's economic development and ensure that the progress accords with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union's Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want

If you have any ESG–related questions, please get in touch with your usual contact at HSF who will be able to direct you as appropriate.

This issue covers the period from 1 to 31 May 2022


19 May 2022

The European Commission announced that the European Union and the Comoros signed a deal "concluding their bilateral market access negotiations on services and goods as part of the Comoros' accession process to the World Trade Organization".

Once the Comoros joins the World Trade Organisation, the deal provides for the imposition of lower tariffs on goods and the opening of services markets. The deal is expected to contribute to sustainable development and economic reform in the Comoros.

31 May 2022

It has been reported that the island nation of the Comoros intends to establish five more national parks in the form of two new protected areas and three new marine protected areas.

This intention follows a report, published by the United Nations Development Programme, which highlights the extraordinary success of incorporating local stakeholders in the conservation practices in the country's only national park, the Mohéli Marine Park, which was designated a marine protected area in 2001. The aim of these additional parks is to replicate the success of the Mohéli Marine Park.


7 May 2022

According to a report, the Malawi Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament is set to commence with public inquiries on the proposed abolition of the death penalty. This follows the ruling of the Supreme Court in April 2021 which determined that the death penalty violated the constitutional right to life.

The public inquiries are to take place on 10 May (central region), 13 May (northern region), and 20 May 2022 (southern region).

Read other reports here and here.


26 May 2022

In collaboration with the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, the United Nations Partnership for Action on Green Economy commissioned two reports titled " Greening the SMEs: Improving SME Access to Green Finance in Mauritius" and " Industrial Waste Management – Cost Structure Review". The reports aim to guide the Mauritian government in their development policy, ensuring that the country's SMEs, which play a significant part in the country's economic growth, can be guided towards a transition to the Green Economy.


6 May 2022

Following the announcement by the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, the second phase of the More Sustainable Fish programme, covering the seven provinces in the north and centre of Mozambique, has reportedly been launched. This programme is part of the broader Development of Small–Scale Aquaculture.

9 May 2022

The International Monetary Fund has approved a US$456 million extended credit facility arrangement for Mozambique, with US$91 million of it available immediately. This arrangement is intended to support economic recovery and policies to reduce public debt to create the possibility for the government to invest in human capital, climate adaptation and infrastructure.

12 May 2022

The Mozambican parliament has reportedly approved amendments to the Law on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in an effort to strengthen the regulatory framework and combat these types of crimes.

See an additional report here.

18 May 2022

According to reports, the Mozambican parliament has approved a new anti–terror bill, which imposes up to twenty–four years in prison for terrorism, as well as up to eight years in prison for spreading false information relating to terrorist activities.

See an additional report here.

The International Finance Corporation has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, through the Mphanda Nkuwa Implementation Office, to provide support for the development of the US$4.5 billion, 1,500MW Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project.

The hydropower plant will be located on the Zambezi River in the Marara district and should be operational by 2031. This project is intended to meet Mozambique's growing domestic energy demand as well as make Mozambique a regional energy hub.

19 May 2022

The SUSTAIN Pro initiative has been launched in Mozambique. This ten–year initiative will support the Mozambican government in its transition to sustainable, and climate resilient, food production systems in the Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor of the Manica province. This initiative is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

25 May 2022

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has agreed to provide advisory services for the development of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project. The AFDB signed an agreement with Gabinete de Implementação do Projecto Hidroeléctrico de Mphanda Nkuwa to this effect.

The AFDB's advisory role will ensure that "world class environmental, social and governance and associated standards are adhered to during the development, and that the project is attractive to reputable developers, financiers and investors".


9 May 2022

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, led a high–level excursion to the proposed Gondwanaland Geopark. The Geopark, according to the Deputy Minister's remarks, shall be established to harbour the diverse range of cultural, historical and ecological heritage contained within the proposed park and is important to preserve Namibia's unique heritage for future generations.


3 May 2022

The Seychelles was ranked first in Africa and 13th in the world in Reporters Without Borders' 2022 World Press Freedom Index. The Seychelles ranked ahead of other jurisdictions including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland.

The Index assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories. This is an important Index given the impact press freedom and the spread of disinformation has on democratic societies.

19 May 2022

It is reported that proposed amendments to the Anti–Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act, 2020 were approved by the National Assembly. The amendments permit the retrospective application of provisions which entitle the relevant authorities to investigate and prosecute offences of money laundering that occurred prior to the commencement of the Act.

The first Multi–Sector Dialogue between the Government of Seychelles and the United Nations Country Team took place this month. The Dialogue was co–chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, and Ms. Christine N. Umutoni, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Seychelles and Mauritius.

The Dialogue had two primary aims: first, to address the country's response to the Covid–19 pandemic, and second, to identify the priority areas of support and cooperation for the next UN–Seychelles Strategic Partnership Framework, due to be in force from 2024 until 2028. These priorities will be incorporated in the government's National Development Strategy. The focus areas of discussion included a transformative economy, environmental sustainability, and climate change.

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