The Development Bank of Southern Africa presented its annual report to the Committee, during which it explained its mandate -- infrastructure development both in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa -- and outlined the projects that it was supporting.
The sectors that had received most of the funding from the bank were energy, transport, information communication technology (ICT) and water development, but in recent times the bank had also invested in education, housing and health. It had supported 72 projects in 2017, with the energy sector accounting for 59% of the financing. South Africa was the biggest recipient of the funding, as it received 71% of the bank’s disbursements, which amounted to R8.7 billion. The bank’s total disbursements for the year totalled R12.4 billion. Its operating income was R4.7 billion and it had registered a net profit for the year of R2.8 billion. Its total assets were standing at R83.7 billion and its total equity at R32 billion. It had experienced a 1% growth compared to 2016.
The Committee asked why the bank had restricted itself to infrastructure development when it could emulate the African Development Bank that supported entrepreneurship, which was crucial for economic growth. Members were also interested in finding out how much money Eskom had received from the bank, and whether the utility would manage to repay its loans and find the funds that it was looking for, since it was experiencing a cash crunch. Eskom had requested a tariff increase of 12%, but the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) had granted only a 5% increase, so the Members asked where Eskom would get the money to cover the deficit. The bank disclosed that since 2010, the bank had disbursed R15.4 billion and that the redemption dates would start from 2025 to 2028.
Referring to the DBSA’s report that it was supporting education and was in the processing of building 12 000 bed spaces for student accommodation, Members asked whether the bank had already started implementing the free education policy, and wanted to know where the money to repay the loans that were being invested in education would come from. They urged the bank to liaise with provincial leaderships so that they could inform them about the areas that they could support. They also asked the bank to be pro-active and not to wait to be invited to finance projects of national importance.
Development Bank of Southern Africa: Annual Report
Mr Frans Baleni, Deputy Chairperson: Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), said that as an organisation, the DBSA was an institution focused on infrastructure development not just in South Africa, but throughout the Southern African region. DBSA was a participant in BRICS regarding infrastructure development. It was also focused on good governance and good financial management to ensure delivery of its mandate. The management team had been revamped from time to time to ensure that the appropriate skills were tapped to execute the mandate which was outlined in the DBSA Act of 1983. The financial performance of the bank had been excellent, as well as the impact of the performance regarding social infrastructure.
The Deputy Chairperson of the Board then handed over to the CEO Mr Patrick Dlamini.
Mandate of DBSA
Mr Patrick Dlamini, Chief Executive Officer: DBSA, said the institution had been created by the DBSA Act and its geographic mandate covered the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in particular, and then spread across sub-Saharan Africa. However, 70 percent of the spending was focused on South Africa. The spending went towards infrastructure development, predominantly in the energy sector for energy generation, transmission and distribution at the local government level. The second sector was transport, which covered all modes of transport -- from roads to rail, border posts, water and oil pipelines, airports, seaports, water infrastructure like dams and reticulation at the local government level, information communication technology (ICT), and education and health infrastructure. The bank was institution-oriented, with 90 percent of the funding going towards institutions, and only rarely were individuals funded. The bank had funded housing in the Eastern Cape, where the provincial Human Settlements Department had been assisted to construct houses in the rural areas. Over 121 schools had been reconstructed, predominantly in the Eastern Cape, as well as in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and North-West.
The DBSA wanted to advance its developmental impact by providing access to development finance in the Southern African region and actively integrating and implementing sustainable development solutions which help to improve the quality of life through the development of social infrastructure, as well as supporting economic growth through investment in economic infrastructure and thereby supporting regional integration. On the continent, intra-regional trade was sitting at 13 percent, while other continents had reached between 40 percent and 60 percent. The reason for this was that the network infrastructure was not well developed. In the early 90s, the collective gross domestic product (GDP) of sub-Saharan Africa was about US $500 billion, but it was infrastructure development that had enabled growth to reach US $2.7 trillion, even though there was still a long way to go. The bank tried to align its work as a development finance institution (DFI) with the national development plans of nations, as well as the sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. The five key values of the bank were high performance, innovation, service orientation, integrity and shared vision.
The DBSA had consistently received clean audits with irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure at 0.13 percent of operating expenses, which was equivalent to R944 000. It was more irregular than fruitless, arising out of contracts that had expired and should have been renewed. Efforts would be made to avoid a repeat of these errors.
In terms of GDP growth, the two biggest economies -- South Africa and Nigeria -- were the ones experiencing sluggish growth. With these two countries, average growth stood at 3.2 percent, but if they were taken out of the equation, the growth in sub-Saharan Africa stood at 5 percent. South Africa had much capacity that could be harnessed to accelerate growth. Infrastructure spending had increased in South Africa in nominal terms, but in real terms it had declined when inflation, which was higher than GDP growth, was taken into consideration. The spending on infrastructure in 2017 had been R275 billion.
The bank had been targeting disbursements for the year of R17.1 billion, but only R12.4 billion was disbursed. This was due to the delay in the implementation of renewable energy in the country and the Gauteng rollout expansion problems. On the development of social infrastructure, there had been a delay in reaching agreement with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the National Treasury (NT) on the model of delivery for the student accommodation programme. The aim had been to reduce the cost of a bed. For the past five years, over R64.4 billion had been disbursed and records had been broken year in and year out. The aim was to maintain sustainability, as well as to reduce the cost of borrowing. With a smaller balance sheet, the cost of funding could not be brought down, but the balance sheet was growing. There were plans to include the private sector to increase the funding, so that the dependence on government for recapitalisation was reduced. Rather than competing with the private sector, it was better to work with it to bring about development in the country. R2.8 billion had been realised as profit for the year, as well as a sustainable income of R3.6 billion.
The total assets were equivalent to R84 billion, while liabilities were R51 billion, which left a total equity of R32 billion. It was critical that this equity be carefully managed for sustainability and viability.
R5.6 billion had been disbursed to municipalities, with R4.5 billion of that being advanced to metros. Disbursements to secondary and under-resourced municipalities totalled R1.1 billion. The bank did not make profits on its funding to under-resourced municipalities, but made a profit from the bigger projects and those outside the country. In total, 72 projects had been funded, with the energy sector receiving 59 percent of the funding; 15 percent had gone to transport; 12 percent to water and sanitation; 1 percent to ICT; and 13 percent to other sectors.
Impact of Funding
Funding in the energy sector would result in 100 MW of electricity being generated from renewable sources of energy. In education, the impact would result in 1 800 bed spaces in student accommodation. The funding towards ICT would result in the 1 500 km fibre-optic rollout. South Africa already had 96 percent of 3G coverage penetration. The investment in transport would result in the purchase of 210 buses. Outside of South Africa, 425 km of rail would be constructed, 50 000 electricity meters would be installed and energy generation of 760 MW would be achieved. The bank also had plans of constructing student housing with 12 000 bed spaces by the year 2020.
Ms T Tobias (ANC) had questions relating to the vision and mission of the bank. She said one of the things she believed that South Africa should be focusing on, especially when dealing with regional integration, was how to grow the economy of the African continent. The African Development Bank (ADB) focused more on entrepreneurs, whereas the DBSA focused on infrastructure development. The ADB had taken a competitive advantage in terms of economic growth. The DBSA was looking only at infrastructure as the only tool to grow the economy and was limiting its capability to develop entrepreneurs. The ADB had been doing this successfully and were taking the space of the DBSA in allocating funds for development. She acknowledged that the CEO was limited by the mandate of the DBSA, but urged the political leadership to change focus. She gave an example of South Africa’s relationship with Lesotho regarding the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, arguing that South Africa should have deployed more funds towards that project, given the current water crisis faced by a number of regions in the country. That was the space that the country had not exploited through investment. She said that speaking as a former trade and industry deputy minister, there were many countries that had significant amounts of water and energy potential where the country could have invested, but she would leave that to the political leadership of the bank. She was talking to people in the Infrastructure Delivery and Knowledge Management Committee (IDKC), because that was where the planning happened.
The disbursements of the DBSA were quite significant, but they needed to be juxtaposed with the balance sheet. She observed that the balance sheet recorded only 1% growth, which was not enough for growth. Economic recovery was not just the baby of the government, but it was also the baby of the private sector and the banks. The bank should not only mobilise funds using its own models, but also look at equity partnerships to mobilise more funding. Under-resourcing and limiting investment to infrastructure development was more of a concern than the 0.13% of irregular and fruitless expenditure that was reported. The irregular spending could have been a concern if the bank had resourced a specific leading project and its performance had been affected by the economy. The ADB had been making the right moves and attracting philanthropic resources beyond African borders, and the DBSA needed to emulate that. However, she was pleased that the bank was funding schools, because she held the perception that once education was funded then everything else was unlocked, and she encouraged more funding in the sector even though it was not part of the bank’s mandate to unlock the skills challenge facing the economy. Going forward, she asked the bank to look at ways of boosting its balance sheet so that it did not reflect 1% growth in the next five fiscal years.
Mr R Lees (DA) made reference to the bank’s loan book of R76 billion, with R44 billion (or 57%) going to the energy sector. He asked what amount of the R44 billion had been loaned to Eskom and whether those loans were backed up by government guarantees. He also asked what the redemption dates were, as well as the details and conditions attached to those loans. He further asked whether the loans were meant to be used for operations, or whether they were ring fenced for capital expenditure (capex) like the New Build Programme and other capital projects. Eskom’s budget for 2018/19 was based on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) granting at least a 12% increase in tariffs. NERSA had granted only a 5.23% tariff hike. That would result in a cash shortfall of R16.3 billion. In the current year, Eskom had been able to raise only 58% of the proposed funding it was looking for. In its original budget, it had been looking for R72 billion, and it had now revised that down to R45 billion. It had a huge cash crunch. As at mid-November, Eskom was down to R1.2 billion, and it normally operated on a cash balance of R20 billion. Given the low tariff increases and the cash crunch, this would feed into the redemption dates, so he asked whether Eskom would be able to meet the redemption dates that applied in the case of the DBSA, and how the bank would deal with that.
He also wondered whether Eskom was seeking further funding from the DBSA, because a large proportion of their funding plan was through Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). Would Eskom be asking for a rollover of repayment schedules? What would the DBSA’s position be, given the dire financial position that Eskom finds itself in and the absolute need to finish the build programme in order to meet the developmental needs of the country, if Eskom looked at partial privatisation by, for instance, taking a power station which was completely paid for, selling it and using that money for repayments on loans to complete the new build programme?
Ms P Kekana (ANC) said she was beginning from the premise that the CEO had indicated that the DBSA had aligned its activities to the NDP and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Part of the emphasis of the NDP was planning, and when one looked at the infrastructure projects that were not achieved, most of them could be attributed to poor planning. It appeared that the DBSA was ready, but other stakeholders were not ready. Since planning was a problem for the other partners, then DBSA must approach them and assist them to plan so that targets were met.
She also suggested that DBSA make presentations to provincial cabinets so that they knew the work of the DBSA and the projects for which they could potentially get funding. In Limpopo, for example, Nandoni Dam, which was one of the biggest dams in the country, was not being fully utilised for the benefit of the local communities because the Sekhukhune district did not have money for a water pipeline and could not reticulate the water to households. The only ones utilising the water were mining companies, and the people were watching the water being taken away from them through these pipelines that belonged to the mines. The DBSA should perhaps go proactively to the provinces and advertise their funding opportunities. Almost every province had a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) approved, and she wondered whether the DBSA was involved in some of them. Strategic areas like Musina municipality, which was a gateway to SADC and one of the busiest inland ports, the Free State SEZ and the Eastern Cape SEZ, could assist struggling provinces to leverage on some of their economic strengths and then be able to deal with some of their cash flow challenges.
The state of public health institutions across the country left lot to be desired, and it would be important for the DBSA to partner with the Department of Health and assist in face-lifting the hospitals, some of which were in a deplorable state. The clinics were still fairly new, but they also needed to be maintained to prevent them from deteriorating.
She said she had a different view on irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. No matter how small or insignificant an amount may be, it needed to be carefully accounted for and utilised for the intended purpose. It was important to tighten the screws to prevent a precedent of unregulated spending, as every cent counted. She commended the bank for the work it was doing.
Mr F Shivambu (EFF) said the responsibility of Parliament was, among other things, to oversee the organs of State, and he believed the report that was presented was inadequate. It was not clear which information was meant to be a report and which was meant to be a programme of action. He requested that the Members be given a report which drew clear distinctions between programmes of action and reports. A report indicated what had been done and because the Committee was an oversight authority, specific numbers should be furnished -- for example, how many clinics had been renovated and how many new ones had been built and where. Other information needed was whether it was full funding or partial funding that had been provided. He also asked whether the bank was entitled to claim victory for some of the clinics that had been refurbished. The report said six Limpopo storm-damaged clinics had been refurbished during the year, and three new clinics were completed in Erkurhuleni municipality. Elsewhere, it said 21 clinics had achieved practical completion, but in the sustainability review it said 12 clinics. There was no consistency in the numbers. The same applied to the numbers concerning schools built and renovated. In the oral presentation, the number mentioned was 121 schools, but in the document it was different. They were raising false hopes about the number of bed spaces that would be built in student accommodation, especially the figure of 100 000 bed spaces in three years. He also asked for a report on sub-continental activities, the countries which had received funding and the type of projects undertaken. He would like to ask some of the regional leaders of the EFF at OR Tambo to go and inspect some of the projects that existed.
The Chairperson commented that what was in the report was an overview of what the bank was doing, and it did not cover everything. It was up to the Parliamentary offices to provide the entities with the right format of reporting. To be fair, it was important to guide the entities so that they could provide the information that was needed. Addressing the bank, he said it was called the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and he asked whether the bank had focused on Southern Africa.
Mr Baleni said the bank could operate only within the stipulated statutory boundaries, but the concerns about expanding the mandate had been noted, especially about stimulating economic growth. The bank was focusing on four main areas, and was working closely with the new development bank that had been created in the BRICS region, as well as other development agencies like the China Development Bank, so DBSA was not operating in isolation.
On the Lesotho water project, the challenge was that sometimes the bank got invitations and other times it did not. The lead was normally the relevant department, and in this case the Department of Water Affairs, Lesotho, South Africa and Botswana were involved in a project to channel water from Lesotho to Botswana, but the DBSA had not been approached. Information about this project came to the attention of the bank at a forum outside South Africa so the bank needed to be led for it to be involved by the relevant departments.
On the issue of planning, sometimes the efforts of the bank were frustrated by civil servants who blocked the progress of some projects.
Irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure had to be eliminated and it did not matter how little the amount was, the board and management did pay attention to it.
Ms Tobias said the City of Cape Town had got a clean audit, but it had not delivered on the water de-salination project.
Mr Dlamini, on the question regarding the balance sheet and 1% growth, said some of the loans retired in the financial year and that was why the R12.4 billion, if it was added to the previous balance, could have gone to R94 billion. Other debts were retiring during the same period, and that was why there was 1% growth and also the reason why the R64.4 billion was highlighted over the past five years. The bank had actually been breaking records year in and year out. However, the concern of creating partnerships with the private sector was important, although it was not easy as investment in infrastructure was long-term. The bank was already collaborating with the World Bank, African Development Bank and other DFIs in Europe, like the German KFW, which had concessionary funding and the expertise to help the bank move forward.
On seeking audience with the provincial cabinets, progress was already being made for instance in Limpopo, where the bank was engaging with provincial leaders to look at the provincial plans and the bank had plans to visit all the provinces. It was even prepared to invest in feasibility studies to see how viable certain projects could be. A progress report would be given when the bank gave its next report to the Committee.
Regarding the Nandoni dam, the bank had already started the process of engaging with the Department of Water and Sanitation with a view to funding the reticulation. It was unfortunate to see people in communities seeing water being taken past their homes, so the bank was working to see that this project was achieved. However, he was not sure which stage the project had reached.
Members’ follow-up comments and questions
Mr Shivambu said it was important to give accurate information, and not for the CEO to say he was not sure about the stage the project had reached. The Committee needed concrete plans and not the abstract commitments that were being made.
The Chairperson said the report needed to be done in a way that would respond to the concerns of Members like Mr Shivambu. The information was already there, but it needed to be arranged in the way the Members were asking for. The Committee did not have the appetite to call the bank back because of the heavy schedule, especially as it was an election year. The Members would send additional questions to the bank so that a written submission could be made and sent back to Parliament.
Ms B Mabe (ANC) said she agreed with Mr Shivambu, and said when institutions were invited to present reports to the Committee they must do so using the correct format.
The Chairperson replied that there was no format
Ms Mabe insisted that previously there was a format that had been used. The Departments needed to know what they had to come and present on. On infrastructure, for example, they were inconsistent in their presentations as in some places they used rands, and in other places they just used numbers. As learned people, they should do better.
A critical matter that had been raised by the Deputy Chairperson of the Board was that when there was a crisis, the bank sometimes deviated from its mandate, and that was not right. The bank should never deviate from its core mandate. It was not clear what the bank was doing on student accommodation. It was a burning issue, and the information provided was not consistent, as somewhere they said 1 800 beds and elsewhere it was 12 000, and if there was anyone from the media it would be difficult for them to report. Even the institutions that would benefit from this funding had not been mentioned. She also wondered how the bank was planning to recover the money that would be spent on student accommodation. Was the bank already implementing the free education policy?
The report indicated that 500 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) had been awarded contracts worth R493 million, but it was not clear what they were doing. Referring to the installation of the bulk water meters, she said one bulk water meter was installed which benefited 4 500 households -- that number was small and was just equivalent to a rural ward. Not a lot had been done in the rural municipalities where one would expect the bank to do a lot. Did the bank have the capacity to roll out their programmes, or did they outsource this capacity? If so, how much were they paying for the services?
Mr D Maynier (DA) referred to the Deputy Board Chairman’s reference to direct lines to the SADC region countries. There was a loan in respect of Zimbabwe to a company called Infralink Ltd, and he asked for particulars regarding this loan and who the directors and shareholders of that company are.
Ms Mabe asked what the funding for the training of the 284 traditional leaders and councillors involved. What was the value for money from this training, as it was not part of the bank’s mandate?
Ms Tobias said in December, traffic had been held up for two days in Zimbabwe coming into South Africa, and considering the goods and services that had to come through to South Africa, she wondered what those delays had cost. Intra-regional trade was only 13%, and yet the border could not handle that volume of trade. At the risk of belabouring her point of the bank taking the initiative in leading certain projects, she said it was important for it to be proactive, as in the case of the Beit Bridge border post
Mr Baleni said that he would be happy for Mr Shivambu to go and inspect the projects he was referring to, as they had been completed. They would even welcome the Committee for site visits. Even the board members visited the projects across the country to monitor progress. In the Eastern Cape, schools were being handed over week in and week out. 121 schools had been completed and the work being done by the SMMEs could be investigated.
He said if they had been informed about the format of the report, they could have been more specific and more detailed. There was no way that the bank could come to the Committee to come and tell untruths.
It was disclosed that since 2010, over R15.4 billion had been disbursed to Eskom, and the redemption would start from 2025 to 2028. The conditions were that Eskom had to implement good governance, but the loans were not guaranteed by the state and it was for that reason that the bank had been able to insist on certain conditions in the agreement, such as unqualified audit reports. When it was disclosed that Eskom was going to have qualified audit reports, it was a breach of the agreement, but the bank had to act in a responsible fashion as a corporate citizen by engaging with Eskom and expressing concern. The bank had then insisted on calling all the lenders, because for the bank to call default on its loans could have resulted in cross-defaulting on the entire R361 billion loan of Eskom, R200 billion of which was guaranteed by the fiscus. The purpose of the meeting was to deal with the rot at Eskom, and there was insistence that the CFO had to leave as the controls that had collapsed were his responsibility. The National Treasury, through the Minister of Finance and even the Governor of the Reserve Bank, had been kept abreast of all the developments that were happening as Eskom posed a serious risk to the economy of the entire country. At some point, the country was on a knife edge because a default by Eskom would have meant economic disaster, because the government was not going to come up with R200 billion which had guaranteed the debt. The bank was happy with the manner government was now addressing the issues facing the electricity utility company. It was true that Eskom had again approached the bank because of liquidity challenges and engagements were continuing. To resolve the problems at Eskom would take between three to 10 years.
On the SADC loans, the bank worked with the SADC secretariat on infrastructure, but the Infralink was a joint venture owned by the Zimbabwe Department of Transport and Group 5 in South Africa. It had been established to facilitate the construction of the Mutare-Harare road with an injection of US $206 from the DBSA. Unfortunately, the economy of Zimbabwe had shrunk so much that the bank could not lend any more money. Repayments were now coming through the Central Bank of Zimbabwe.
The Beit Bridge issue was quite sad, as it was the busiest port of entry into South Africa and was an extremely important corridor for north-south trade. Trans-national projects were, however, quite complicated because one had to contend with the politics, systems and laws of the different countries, and harmonise rules and legislation. The Departments of Transport and Finance in Zimbabwe had to deal with various departments and agencies in South Africa, such as the Department of Home Affairs, the SA Revenue Service (SARS), Intelligence, Department of Transport and many other departments. There had not been an alignment between the two countries, and when things got stuck at a political level, there was little that the bank could do.
Ms Tobias interjected and requested that the bank sponsor a resolution that the Committee could forward to the relevant stakeholders and political authorities.
Mr Dlamini said it was important for the Committee to understand that the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Radebe, was one of the role players in the South-North Corridor discussions, and Beit Bridge was one key project that needed resolutions. If one talked to the Zimbabweans, they were saying South Africans were not moving, and at some point the Zimbabweans had tried to engage with the Chinese but South Africa had to agree on certain things. Consequently, no progress had been made. The Ministry of Transport should be in the forefront of driving the project, but as with many projects on the continent, sometimes one had to contend with the weak balance sheets of the utilities involved. It became extremely limiting to find the equivalent of Eskom in another SADC country with a very weak balance sheet, or the capacity of the people responsible for the management and governance of the electricity utility was so weak that one had to engage with the central fiscus. However, the central fiscus may also be reliant on donor funding, which in turn would mean that they would not be in a position to provide sovereign guarantees to certain projects, thereby complicating issues. In such cases, the bank tried to engage multi-lateral funding agencies like the World Bank to credit enhance the project.
The Lesotho Highlands Water Project was one that South Africa was anxious to proceed with, but on the side of Lesotho it was quite contentious. The Lesotho project was one that the South African DFIs could fund, but it needed political resolutions.
Mr Maynier asked for the name of the current CEO of the Zimbabwean company, Interlink, and the name of the former CEO, as well as the owners of the Zimbabwean company.
Mr Lees wanted further clarification on whether Eskom was going to meet the redemptions. He also requested more information on the further funding that Eskom was seeking from the DBSA. He expressed concern about the absence of the DBSA Board Chairman.
Mr Dlamini, in response to questions on student accommodation, said the institutions that they had funded were the Wits University and the University of Venda, and the specific bed spaces were 1 800. He also clarified that the requests had come from the universities, and the bank had assessed the credibility of the requests. When the board gave the approval, it was taken to the Department of Higher Education, which gives the final approval, and sometimes that was where projects got stuck. 12 000 bed spaces were also a possibility that the bank was looking at funding.
Mr Shivambu said they needed more information on the number of bed spaces that had been allocated to each institution, because the information he had received was that Wits University had receivedt a loan from Nedbank for the construction of student accommodation.
Mr Dlamini said he would provide more information on student accommodation.
Responding to Mr Maynier’s question, he said that the former CEO of Interlink was Mr Charles Chitukutuku, but he did not have information about the new CEO.
Regarding Eskom’s way forward, he said the utility company needed between R50 to R60 billion per annum, but over the next five years it needed about R250 billion. However, he was not privy to the exact details and Eskom would be in a better position to provide that information.
Ms Zodwa Mbele, Acting Chief Financial Officer, responded to the question on the potential growth of the balance sheet, given that the bank was growing at 1%. The balance sheet was growing and by the end of March this year the bank would end up with around R90 billion, because currently it was sitting at R82 billion. Thereafter, it would grow by another R5 billion, going to R95 billion and again it would grow by R10 billion, bringing the total to R105 billion in the three-year financial cycle. Last year there had been an anomaly because a R12 billion disbursement was what had been booked, plus the interest, but the repayment of about R17 billion had offset the growth in terms of numbers.
Mr Dlamini answered the question of whether the bank employed the services of consultants, saying the bank used consultants because the staff at the bank had expertise only in financial and banking matters, so issues to do with construction fell outside of their expertise.
The meeting was adjourned.
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