The ruling African National Congress has welcomed all heads of states who would be in South Africa to attend the 10th Brics Summit for three days from Wednesday, saying that this year’s summit would be a crucial milestone as it marks a decade of Brics co-operation.
Government representatives and business people from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (Brics) will all attend the Summit in Sandton, Johannesburg, as heads of states Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Michel Temer, and Narendra Modi would be hosted by their counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.
“As the African National Congress, we are confident that the Brics Leaders’ Summit, will be characterised by fruitful engagements and lead to productive outcomes. South Africa assumed the rotational chairship of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) Forum from 1 January to 31 December 2018,” the ANC said in a statement.
“As the ANC, we must utilise Brics to promote a progressive international agenda. Our 54th National Conference noted, among other things, the strategic importance of our Brics membership as part of our overall international relations strategy and that co-operation through forums such as Brics is of primary importance to our movement.”
The ANC said it had made a call to its members in government to ensure that its Brics membership was leveraged to advance the developmental goals and to ensure that the country’s chairing of Brics in 2018 was beneficial to South Africa and the entire continent.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in South Africa late on Monday, the first leader from the Brics grouping to land in for its annual summit.
The Chinese delegation was welcomed by the South African International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
President Cyril Ramaphosa would, on Tuesday host Xi Jinping, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for a State visit.
The Presidency said that the State visit takes place within the context of strengthening strategic and historic political, economic, social and international cooperation partnership between South Africa and China.
The president of China first made a stop in Kigali, Rwanda, for a two-day state visit where with his counterpart, Paul Kagame, Xi signed at least 12 bilateral MOUs to strengthen cooperation, including those related to visa understandings.