• Monday, October 02, 2023


South Africa supports expansion of BRICS membership: President Ramaphosa ahead of summit

The issue of applications by 22 nations to join the platform is on the agenda for the leaders of the current members who will meet in Johannesburg this week.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

SOUTH AFRICA is in favour of increasing the number of members of the BRICS grouping which currently includes five nations including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, president Cyril Ramaphosa said in a nationally broadcast address to the country on Sunday (20) evening.

The issue of applications by 22 nations to join the platform is on the agenda for the leaders of the current members who will meet in Johannesburg on Wednesday (23) for the 15th edition of the summit.

“South Africa supports the expansion of the membership of BRICS. The value of BRICS extends beyond the interests of its current members. For its efforts to be more effective, BRICS needs to build partnerships with other countries that share its aspirations and perspectives,” Ramaphosa said.

“An expanded BRICS will represent a diverse group of nations with different political systems that share a common desire to have a more balanced global order,” the South African president said as he welcomed the participation in the summit of a host of other leaders from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East, West Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia.

Ramaphosa said the upcoming BRICS summit was particularly important because it is being held while the world is confronted by fundamental challenges that are bound to determine the course of international events for years to come.

“Our world has become increasingly complex and fractured as it is increasingly polarised into competing camps. Multilateralism is being replaced by the actions of different power blocs, all of which we trade with, invest with, and whose technology we use,” he said.

Ramaphosa reaffirmed that South Africa continues to advocate for an open and rules-based global governance, trade, financial and investment system.

“It must be a system that does not depend on the exercise of power or unilateralism, but by the advancement of the interests of the peoples of the world,” the president said as he explained how South Africa’s post-apartheid foreign policy stance has positioned it as a reliable and influential partner on the African continent and in the world.

“We have resisted pressure to align ourselves with any one of the global powers or with influential blocs of nations. While some of our detractors prefer overt support for their political and ideological choices, we will not be drawn into a contest between global powers,” Ramaphosa said, in a hint to the pressure that had earlier been exerted on South Africa to decry the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will attend the summit and will follow it up with a visit to Greece.

(With agency inputs)

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