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Goa government submits BRICS food scam probe report to HC

The High Court of Bombay at Goa has directed that the report received from Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma in connection with alleged unhygienic food supplied to police during the BRICS Summit, be forwarded to the Goa Human Rights Commission.

The commission is inquiring into the complaint filed by social activist Aires Rodrigues, alleging a scam of Rs 51 lakh in food supplied to police on duty during the 2016 BRICS summit.The government questioned the jurisdiction of GHRC to pass an order on Aires’ complaint before the High Court.

On 14 October 2016, Rodrigues submitted his complaint to the GHRC that the contract for Rs 51,60,000 was given to Amonkar Classic Caterers for supply of food to police personnel on duty for the BRICS Summit.

According to Times of India, the caterer’s contract was allegedly sublet to a roadside contractor who secretly prepared the food in an open space. The roadside labourers were engaged for cooking substandard food in unhygienic conditions with water stored in open plastic barrels used for cooking.

Rodrigues stated that the authorities had failed to make proper arrangements including food, water and sanitation for police personnel.

Source: TimesOfIndia

10th BRICS Summit hot topics

The BRICS 10th summit will be taking place next month in Johannesburg, South Africa. The global community will have their eyes on this summit. In its 10th year running, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s been achieved and make decisions for the future.

  1. With recent unpredictable and drastic foreign policies introduced by United States President Donald Trump, most recently visible in the realms of nuclear proliferation and trade, the global economy has been shaken. The BRICS member countries have called for fair trades and an open economy previously, the tariffs and sanctions are in contradiction with their principles and thus it will be on top of the list of the things to discuss. Xi Jinping,  President of the People’s Republic of China, has won the battle of narratives against Trump, and the Chinese leader is regarded as a global stabilizer and defender of global rules and norms, while Trump is seen as a source of risk. BRICS members will need to look at this issue and set a united standing point.
  2.  The US Foreign policy and dependence on China is not the only thing that binds the BRICS member countries. The establishment of the New Development Bank and the plans to add additional members to increase the institution’s capacity has been an achievement for BRICS. The Bank has currently approved more than US$ 5 billion in financing for infrastructure projects since its establishment. The countries will use the summit to discuss how they can reduce non-tariff barriers amongst themselves and seek ways to continue promoting the “people-to-people” ties, which improved markedly over the past decade, but which remain well below what they could be.
  3.  This being South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first summit since he took over from Former President Jacob Zuma, the Ramaphosa will be given an  opportunity to tell the BRICS community how he plans to turn around South Africa’s economic standing. The South African Chairmanship, is also important for Ramaphosa’s election campaign as South Africa will be going into elections next year, for this reason President Ramaphosa will also need to convince the South African community that he is ready to take the country forward.
  4. Brazil has faced increased economic instability over the years, with the elections later in October, the new Brazilian President will go straight into taking Chairmanship of BRICS in 2019. This means the current President of Brazil, Michel Temer, will not have much ground to shape debate at this year’s summit as he will be finishing off his term. The next President will have an advantage of starting their term and chairing BRICS in 2019. This leaves little weight for the President Temer.(Source: Post-Western World)

 

Foreign Ministers in preparatory meeting in Pretoria ahead of BRICS Summit.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu opened up the second meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers. She shared that forums of this nature strengthen the long-standing bonds of friendship and cooperation. 

The meeting is in preparation for the 10th BRICS Summit that will take place in South Africa from the 25th to 27th July 2018.

Sisulu stated that ministers are making further concrete contributions to BRICS cooperation through deliberations. 

“There can be no doubt that our shared commitment to BRICS will bear fruit and we will make  advances in confronting our common challenges and realising our common objectives for  peace, harmony and greater representation in global governance institutions.” she said 

The Minister added that “ the current global geo-political realities make a meeting of this nature, not only necessary but timely. We meet in the face of multilateralism under siege; when the integrity of international agreements can be hastily and expediently compromised; when more and more countries take an inward-looking position at the expense of others.” 

South Africa is fortunate to host a number of BRICS related event this year. 

“It is fortuitous for South Africa to hold the Chairship of this august Forum, and to have the responsibility of hosting the 10th BRICS Summit in this year that coincides with the Centenary commemoration of a world icon, former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Throughout the year, we will honour the life and legacy of our leader, a distinguished global statesman and father of our nation. 

“We are excessively proud that out of a deplorable inhuman system, we produced one as he. The life of this remarkable human being urges us to recall that nothing is impossible to achieve, no matter the magnitude of the task and irrespective of how daunting it may seem at the time.” 

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

OPINION : Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu’s duties in the new era.

South Africa’s new minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, promises to breathe new life into the country’s foreign policy posture if her early moves are anything to go by. She has displayed a steady but firm hand, a quality that’s needed to navigate the tricky international relations in the era that features the likes of Donald Trump.

Sisulu’s main strength is her seniority in South Africa’s ruling party; the ANC. Life can be easier in the international relations era if you do not have to second-guess your bosses. Diplomacy can be smoother if you are not a lackey of the president and as such you do not have to consult all the time because you’re watching your back, because you know that there are people in your party who are more qualified to hold your position.

You can do what appeared to be unthinkable by your predecessors. You can recall the country’s ambassador to Israel without blinking even though you know that this has the potential to disturb your other interests.

Sisulu has wasted no time in stamping her authority on the world stage. A few days after she took over the new office in early March, Sisulu displayed a firm hand in dealing with the Australians.

An Australian minister of home affairs, Peter Dutton, made nauseating comments about South Africa’s land redistribution policy in March this year. Influenced by neo-colonialist views Dutton said Australia would consider offering refuge of sort to white South African farmers who according to the neo-colonialist view are facing persecution. This view comes to counter South Africa’s newly found sense of urgency to redistribute land to the dispossessed indigenous black majority.

She wasted no time in issuing a diplomatic démarche to the Australian High Commissioner in South Africa, Adam McCarthy. A démarche is a diplomatic petition or protest reserved for extremely serious matters. And she complemented the démarche with a strong public statement. South Africa, said Sisulu, demands a retraction. All indications are that she’s managed to discipline the Australians.

Sisulu made the situation look easy to handle but it was actually a tricky space for Sisulu. She had taken over the international relations’ reigns a few days earlier. She needed time to figure out the system. This could have easily rendered her indecisive. It’s almost certain that an inadequate leader would have staggered around Australian case and its timing. A dangerous vacuum could have developed if Sisulu deferred action, if she had opted to go into consultation with seniors in the ruling party the ANC.

Sisulu comes with an advantage of being a senior herself. As such she probably doesn’t suffer from the weakness of second guessing what her party is about. She’s one of the longest serving executive members of the post 1994 government. And she’s key positions like being minister of intelligence, housing, defence and public service administration.

And Sisulu’s name was strongly considered during the race for presidency in the run up to the 2018 ANC conference which elected Cyril Ramaphosa. Her seniority in the ruling party should make for a huge advantage. Presumably she doesn’t have to second guess her party’s needs.

 

 

 

South Africa’s Foreign Ministers hosts BRICS Foreign Ministers

On Monday, 4th June 2018, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation South Africa, Lindiwe Sisulu, will be hosting the BRICS countries’ Foreign Affairs/ International Relations Ministers for the second Formal Meeting in Pretoria, South Africa.

With the BRICS 10th Summit taking place in South Africa from the 25th to 27th July 2018, this formal meeting will be in preparation to the summit. Also expected to be discussed at the meeting will be practical cooperation amongst the BRICS countries, the current international political situation as well as the role of BRICS in the implementation of the UN’s Agenda 2030.

South Africa assumed the role of chair of BRICS on 01 January 2018 and will remain in this position until 31 December 2018

 

(ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

Media Statement on South Africa’s Media arrangements for the 10th BRICS Summit

The Minister of Communications, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane is pleased to announce the media developments of South Africa’s hosting of the 10th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit to be hosted at the Sandton International Convention Centre from 25-27 July 2018.

The BRICS approach is informed by the need to deepen, broaden and intensify relations within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development. This approach takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to avoid competition where possible.

The bloc offers a unique opportunity for BRICS countries to extend and advance their cooperation in ways that meaningfully promote their economic development agendas as well as that of other developing countries.

South Africa assumed the rotational Chairship of BRICS from 1 January to 31 December 2018. The 2018 Summit will be a seminal milestone for BRICS cooperation, as it represents a decade of BRICS cooperation at the highest diplomatic level.

This Summit is held under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

The theme is reflective of the core priorities of each one of the BRICS members, notably to strive towards the creation of an inclusive society and global partnerships that will bring prosperity to all humankind.

The theme is intended to align and ensure strategic continuity with the approved themes for South Africa’s Chairship of both the South African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).:

Plans are underway to ensure the successful hosting of the Summit. South Africa has made headway on media coordination and members of the media are now invited to apply to be accredited for the 10th BRICS Summit.

Media interested in covering the summit should use the link below to complete the online registration form.

https://macc.gcis.gov.za

In aligning with the customs regulations, journalists using passports as identification should note that the Passports should be valid for at least 30 days beyond the expected date of departure to South Africa.

The passports must have at least two (2) unused pages when presented for endorsements.

Yellow fever vaccination certificates will be required from the following:
 Guests over one year of age who come from yellow fever endemic regions or
 Guests who have passed through such regions
 Quarantine may be imposed as per the health regulations

All journalists who require a visa to enter South Africa must obtain it from the nearest South African Embassy/High Commissions in each country.

The closing date for the 10th BRICS Summit Media Accreditation is Monday, 22 June 2018.

For more information on the Summit, please visit: http://www.brics2018.org.za/

Members of the public are encouraged to follow the BRICS conversation by using the #BRICS2018

Accreditation contacts: Ms Mmemme Mogotsi on mmemme@gcis.gov.za 072 856 4288 or Ms Kgopotso Rapakuana on rapakuanak@dirco.gov.za 073 058 3876

10th BRICS Summit enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838

Issued by Government Communication and Information System
31 May 2018

Public lecture on BRICS at the University of Limpopo

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has partnered with the University of Limpopo for this morning’s public lecture on South Africa’s hosting of the 10th BRICS Summit.

Taking place under the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration, Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, the lecture was presented by Prof Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General for Asia and Middle East at DIRCO and BRICS Sherpa.

Addressing students, Sooklal said: “Today, it is important that people know about BRICS because the people are at the forefront of BRICS. The organisation is focused on advancing the economy and the domestic interest of South Africa including the SADC region.”

Prof. Sooklal was joined by Mr Kenneth da Nobrega, Sous Sherpa for the Republic of Brazil and Mr Pavel Knyazev, Sous Sherpa for the Russian Federation. The meeting of the BRICS Sherpas will take place 24-26 April 2018 at the Mabula Lodge in Bela Bela, Limpopo.

Image: Embassy of Russia

DIRCO

China issues commemorative stamps for BRICS Summit

XIAMEN – China Post issued a stamp on Saturday to commemorate the BRICS Summit in Xiamen of East China’s Fujian province.

The stamp bears logo of the summit as well as the letters “BRICS” and “2017 China”. It also shows the scenic Gulangyu island, which was included into the UNESCO list last month, as well as other iconic sites of Xiamen like Xiamen University.

“It shows the features of Xiamen,” said Zhang Zhijun with the Xiamen branch of China Post. “With the sea we would like to imply that the summit is a new starting point for the countries to sail into a bright future.”

Philatelist can buy eight-stamp sheets or individual stamps. The small sheet is made of silk, with a panorama picture of Gulangyu island by a local photographer Zhu Qingfu.

Price of one stamp is 1.2 yuan (about 18 cents).

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet in Xiamen in early September for the 9th BRICS Summit.

China previously has also issued stamps for the G20 Hangzhou Summit and the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

– China Daily/RepubHub

BRICS Journal TV: 2016 BRICS Trade Fair and Exhibition in India

BRICS Journal sets the scene at the Inaugral BRICS Journal Trade Fair and Exhibition that kicked off in New Delhi, India on 12 October 2016. We chat to Executive Chairman of BRICS Journal, Sthe Mabanga, as well as KZN MEC of Economic Development, Sihle Zikalala and other participants.

We also take a walk through the South African Pavillion at the Trade Fair

Location: Pragati Maidan

 

8th BRICS Summit

The 8th BRICS Summit will be held at the Indian state of Goa. In February 2016, India assuemd chairmanship of BRICS. External Affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj said that this year’s emphasis during its chairmanship will be institution building, implementation of previous commitments flowing from the past Summits, and exploring synergies among the existing mechanisms.

A series of events, such as Under-17 Football Tournament, BRICS Film Festival, BRICS Wellness Forum, BRICS Youth Forum, Young Diplomat’s Forum, BRICS Trade Fair and BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave will be hosted across India. This, according to Swaraj will create an occasion for BRICS partners to visit different cities of India. Meanwhile, the National Development Bank approved its first set of laons of $811 million that were disbursed to the BRICS countries in April 2016. The projects within these countries are in the renewal energy development sphere.

www.brics2016.gov.in