… Announces N$99.5bn in assets
By Confidente Reporter
THE Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has committed itself to assuming 30 percent of the deliverables located in the Social Progression Pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), which relates to sanitation, land delivery and housing.
GIPF Board of Trustees Chairman, Goms Menette, confirmed this during a stakeholders’ consultative meeting this week.
While announcing recorded assets for the fund of N$99 billion, as at March this year, Menette said GIPF has developed a three-pronged strategy to addressing the housing challenge, which is through land servicing, the construction of units and housing finance.
“Our first approach is through the provision of housing loans, managed by the First Capital Real Estate Finance Fund, a trust fund that has been established by GIPF, through its Unlisted Investment Portfolio,” Menette said.
“First Capital is tasked to handle the management and administration of, amongst others, the housing scheme, which received an allocation of N$1 billion, an amount which is fully invested.”
Menette stressed that with this amount, First Capital assisted close to 2 000 members, by providing finance to acquire houses, and is able to accommodate around 25 to 30 members, on a monthly basis.
In the process, they collect repayments from the existing book, for new loans, depending on the amount to be financed.
GIPF is, however, reviewing the progress made through this intervention, with a view of determining how to deal with the matter in the long-run.
“Secondly, the fund serviced 2 142 plots across the country. These comprised of plots for houses, townhouses and flats, targeting low to middle-income households.
“Our focus since June 2016 is on affordable housing, for which we have availed an additional N$300 million for the purposes of land servicing. To date we have serviced 391 stands, at a selling price of N$120 000 each.”
The fund also oversaw the construction of 735 general and single residential housing units across the country, while approving the servicing of 327 single residential plots, as well as the construction of 180 housing units in the affordable housing segment.
Menette also announced that the fund has awarded a total of eight new private equity mandates, destined for local investment, as part of an amount of N$2 billion committed to fund managers.
The investments would be made in the areas of venture capital, debt funds, infrastructure funds and general private equity.
GIPF has also established an internal treasury unit, which will directly manage a portion of its assets in-house.
“Great progress has been realised, and at the end of April 2017, a total of N$10 billion was managed by this unit. Of this amount, in excess of N$8 billion was invested in government bonds,” Menette said.
“A further N$5.9 billion in assets were swapped with the Bank of Namibia, so as to support the international reserves of the country.
“Further sales of this portfolio will, over time, be invested in local government instruments,” Menette said.
He further noted that the fund has heard the cries of its members, and has pledged to increase its efforts toward customer-centric innovations.
This will include enhancing its organisational footprint, decentralising services to the regions, improving member communication and administration systems and processes.
Menette added that that the fund plans on implementing an online self-service portal.
“It is for this reason that we purposefully selected this year’s theme as, ‘Collaboration – the winning formula’, with a specific focus on service delivery.
“The trustees took a deliberate decision, and directed management to devise a strategy on how the fund will enhance customer satisfaction and improve service delivery,” he said.
According to Menette, GIPF has already opened its revamped client services and reception area, and has introduced a comprehensive contact centre system that manages all customer experience elements.
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