News / Africa

South Africa Moves to Strengthen its Economic Standing

South Africa Moves to Strengthen its Economic Standingi
X
March 15, 2013 1:42 PM
South Africa is set to host it first BRICS summit as the newest member of this group of developing economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China. As the Durban meeting approaches later this month, the question in South Africa is what will this do for the country and the continent? VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Anita Powell
South Africa is set to host it first BRICS summit as the newest member of this group of developing economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China.  As the Durban meeting approaches later this month, South African are wondering what its role as host will bring to the country -- and the continent.

South Africa, the smallest economy in BRICS, joined the group in 2011, expecting it would strengthen the nation’s position globally, and offset the great influence wielded by traditional Western powers.

“Our ties are historic," said South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Masabane, noting that her nation has long had economic and cultural relations to several of the BRICS nations, notably India and China.

Analyst Lyal White, head of the Center for Dynamic Markets at the Gordon Institute of Business Studies, said while South Africa may not technically belong in this elite group, it is the continent’s powerhouse and provides a gateway to African markets. 

"It’s an opportunity for South Africa to really punch above its weight in global fora and to really engage with the global agenda at the very highest level and to drive the economic and political future of the developing world," he said.

Johannesburg is a multicultural city and has long been a hub for immigrants from around the world.

Shopkeeper Zubair Ismail gets all of his goods from India and China. But if he had the chance to address the BRICS members, he says he’d make a surprising request.

"Basically the main thing would be to stop imports from China, India or wherever, and try and rebuild our manufacturing locally. Because that would increase our employment and would also give everyone a scope, from manufacturing to wholesaling to retailing locally," he said.

Across town at the city’s oldest Chinese store, business is good. The store has deep ties to the local community and has been going strong for 60 years. Owner King Pon says BRICS is unlikely to change that.

"People are very capitalistic. I don’t really think you need your major BRICS government agreements for people to do business. Where there’s money, people will flock," he said.

Critics say that BRICS is not a new dynamic - just another form of colonialism that allows rich nations to exploit Africa.

Academic Patrick Bond says BRICS will be disastrous for the continent. 

"It’s extraction that is so devastating to [the] environment and to people, and what BRICS, what it looks like it’s trying to do, is make that more formal and legitimate, and more fluid, with more finance," he said.

BRICS governments would argue that finance is the key to counter exploitation and they plan to use the summit to unveil their own development bank to benefit the African continent and beyond.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid