SA’s membership in BRICS is of great benefit for the country: President Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa’s membership in the BRICS grouping has brought great benefits to the country.

He says it will help with the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. He says South Africa’s trade with its BRICS partners has increased by an average of 10 percent every year over the period 2017 to 2021. Total trade with other BRICS partners has reached R830-billion 2022, which is a 70 percent increase since 2017.

“BRICS therefore is an important source for us of foreign direct investment in key areas such as mining, automotive transportation clean energy, financial services, IT, telecommunications and many other areas. These investment projects bring significant job creation and we have seen that across our country.”

President Ramaphosa answers oral questions in Parliament:

Association with dictators and autocrats

Ramaphosa defended his association with what DA leader John Steenhuisen described as dictators and autocrats. Steenhuisen says the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Iran into BRICS goes against the human rights culture as enshrined in the constitution.

He has criticised the President for attending the inauguration ceremony of Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa. However, Ramaphosa says that South Africa does not compromise its human rights policies when dealing with other countries.

He says because of its stance of not adopting a holier than thou attitude towards other countries, South Africa is well- respected and has influence around the world.

“The Europeans the Americans, they learn a lot from us and will not stop from showcasing our values and human rights. Shying away from other countries which has never been our foreign policy thrust. We are friends with all countries in the world, we are enemies of none.”