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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid