SA must carry Brics banner high
IN DECEMBER 2010, South Africa was admitted as the fifth member of the Brics group of developing nations with great fanfare.
Since its admission there had been high expectations that this membership of an elite group of developing countries will act as a significant trigger for the country’s political and economic development.
In July this year, South Africa in its capacity as the chair of Brics, will host the 10th summit of the powerhouse grouping of nations which lists Brazil, Russia, China and India.
As South Africa prepares to host this important summit it is vital that we take stock of whether the country has effectively leveraged its Brics membership.
Recent remarks by Department of International Relations and Cooperation deputy director-general Anil Sooklal are insightful in this regard.
Speaking at a Brics round table discussion on Monday, he said: “We are now 10 years into the Brics family, entering a second decade of cooperation but I believe not enough is being done.”
Sooklal’s assessment is on the mark and not unexpected. Given the political and economic turmoil in the country, the ruling party and the government have taken their eyes off the ball.
South Africa’s membership of Brics promised a new dawn and one which is based on a common vision to address the challenges posed by poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Harnessing the benefits of Brics membership will require a new trajectory and commitment from the government and ruling party.
The political winds of change must translate into concrete action that puts the national interest above everything else.
As we prepare to welcome the political, social and business leadership of Brics, no effort must be spared to send a clear message that South Africa is back on track and ready to live up to the expectations created at the time of its admission.
LIVE-FIRE EXERCISES: Taiwanese soldiers take part in a military drill in Hualien, eastern Taiwan yesterday to simulate a military response to an invasion after China stepped up pressure on the island’s leader, President Tsai Ing-wen.