OPINION : Why Brics is important to SA

Published 31 July 2017, by Dr Iqbal Survé

When you identify an opportunity grab it, steer it and keep it on course with everything you have. I believe in steering true north, and now we have an opportunity to chart a new course for the great SAS South Africa. As the chairperson of the Brics – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – business council South Africa chapter; as an innovative entrepreneur and businessman, and above all else, a South African, I have many concerns.Our high unemployment rate, educating our youth, equipping them with relevant skills, building infrastructure, our gross domestic product (GDP) and attracting foreign direct investment are high on my agenda. There is no argument that we are dealing with one of the most important destructive apartheid legacies, second-class education – which led to a myriad of social evils. The results of which need more than just two decades to repair.

We have to credit our government for realising the goal for SA to be a partner in this multinational forum. The state continues to amend policies and laws to create attractive conditions to draw investments.

It was after intense lobbying with economic giants and wealth-creating nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China, that we joined the partnership seven years ago. We set ourselves on a course and to roll back centuries of economic drought.

Brics gives us an opportunity to create jobs, and work in tangent with the partnership to re-skill and up-skill our workforce.

It is not up to the government alone to fix this. The state is not a creator of a lot of jobs. This is where the private sector has a role to play, to work hand in hand with the government. It is without question; for our economy to grow, we need to create jobs for millions of young people, SA has participated in many multinational institutions, such as the UN, the AU, and the G20. Our partnership with Brics is not meant to be at the exclusion of other investment partners such as the EU and North America. It is intended to augment the partnership and draw increased investment.

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