3RD BRICS Young Scientist Forum

The Department of Science and Technology will be hosting the Young BRICS Scientist Forum in Durban on the 25-29 June 2018. The 5-day Forum will be under the theme of Building BRICS Youth Leadership through Science, Technology and Innovation.

The BRICS Young Scientist Forum (YSF) was established in 2015 as one of the recommendations made at the second BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting that was hosted by Brazil.

The Department of Science and technology will be assuming the rotational chair for this year’s meetings which not only includes the 3rd BRICS Young Scientist Forum, but also the 6th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting and the 8th BRICS STI Senior Officials Meeting (SOM).

The goals of this Year’s BRICS YSF: to give BRICS young scientists and researchers a stage, for them to trade ideas on transformative change and create long lasting research collaborations as well as creating a network of cooperation.

Their second goal is to highlight youth directed and creative solutions for socio-economic challenges facing their community. The third goal is to enhance academic, policy exchanges and conferencing within the BRICS and Youth context.

Their final goal is to advance collective communication between young scientists, senior leaders in science and technology, as well as researchers from the BRICS member states.


The 8th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian development

The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries (DAFF) partnered with the Mpumalanga Provincial government to host the 8th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Developments. The discussions, which commenced on Tuesday 19 June and are set to end on Friday the 22nd June.

The main theme of the meeting was the “Reduction of the negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climate change”. The meeting is in preparation for the Heads of State BRICS Summit happening in July.

The meeting’s purpose is to create more cooperation among BRICS nations to find ways to tackle climate change, looking strongly at climate intelligent mechanisms and the different passages available in lowering greenhouse gas emission, migration and refugees, maximizing efficiencies, advancing the pliability of agricultural and food production systems and the different ways we can evolve and guarantee food security.

Source: The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries (DAFF)

BRICS nations to set up own credit agency

The BRICS member countries have announced they will be setting up a Credit Agency as an alternative to the established agencies that have dominated the global credit rating market. Their aim is to limit the cost of borrowing, which as a result of downgrading’s by the S&P Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service, have made getting credit very difficult for emerging markets.

The idea of a BRICS rating agency dates back to 2015 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra called for its establishment, India has long been wanting the a new rating agency to change the global system. The decision to create a rating agency by the BRICS bloc comes after many years of discussion at conferences and forums, including the very most recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which happened this past May.




A budget breakdown of the spending for FIFA World Cup 2018

The Russians have invested billions of dollars to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the event will make FIFA hundreds of millions in profits. The Russian Government had budgeted $11.6 billion on projects for the World Cup which is less than the estimated $15 billion spent by Brazil on the 2014 World Cup. Construction and preparation for the World Cup has cost Russia an estimated $11.8 billion, according to USA Today, with more than 70 percent of the spending coming from public funding.


FIFA will top $6 billion for the four-year commercial cycle tied to this World Cup, beating its $5.656 billion target. The World Cup is the main source of FIFA income, FIFA gets its profits from broadcasting revenue, sponsorships and ticket sales. Ahead of the 2018 World Cup FIFA had four deals from Russia, three with Russian State-owned firms; three Chinese sponsors; none from the Americas or Africa and the Middle East.


Teams will win portions of the $400 million in total prize money, according to FIFA. The winner will get $38 million and runner-up $28 million, the 16 teams going home after the group phase will each get $8 million. FIFA has budgeted spending $791 million on teams and players for prize money, club compensation, insurance for players injured on national-team duty, and preparation costs for 32 squads. Clubs providing players will share $209 million from FIFA. A daily rate of $8,530 for the official involvement of 736 players is shared among each club they were registered with in the two previous years.


(Source: The Indian Express)

SARS Hosting: Meeting of BRICS Experts on Tax Matters and Heads of Tax

From the 18th to 21st of Junes The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will hosting the tax experts and heads of tax administrations from BRICS member countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa, taking place at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton.

The BRICS Tax meetings follow on BRICS Customs meetings held in April this year, which contributed to creating an enabling framework for BRICS Customs cooperation.  To build further on this gain, the BRICS Tax meetings will discuss contemporary tax issues such as the improvement of tax enforcement technology with a focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Digitalization is regarded to be the most significant development of the world economy since the industrial revolution. This development creates opportunities for innovation, investment, new business, jobs, and it is one of the main drivers of sustainable development. However, the taxation of the digital economy has not fully reflected the advantages created by the spread of technology.

This meeting will also explore new approaches to taxation governance and economic and technological cooperation which is expected to contribute significantly to the improvement of a global economic governance system.

At the closing of this meeting, SARS Acting Commissioner, Mark Kingon, will host a special media briefing on Thursday, 21 June 2018 to announce the outcomes of the meeting as well as any agreements reached.

Press Release Issued by: SARS Media Department

Report: India has one decade to become a developed nation

India’s largest lender the State Bank of India (SBI), released a report stating that India needs to become a developed nation in one decade, or suffer the negative consequences of having a huge demographic dividend.

The report also states that India may never enter into a state of development if it doesn’t act immediately. They calculate that India has a 10 year time span to move into the developed country label or it may be trapped as developing nation in perpetuity.

It further goes on to state that more focus on youth and education investment by the government will help to achieve this goal. Currently, India’s demographic surplus is the main reason for economic growth, but there are already warning signs that by the year 2030 it may lead to problematic issues. For instance, the sluggishness of the population growth in last 20 years, as well as the unpredictability of the fertility rate across India.

The coastal state of Karnataka is one of these cases of low birth rate, resulting in an increase of people over the age of 60 to 9.5 percent in 2011. A lower population growth, increase the wealth of certain demographics of the population who then move from government services to private services, like government schools to private schools, which has an adverse effect of lowering the quality of government schools due to lack of funding. For this reason, calls for more educational funding is need in India for the population that cannot afford to migrate services.


The BRICS Institute has officially launched

The BRICS Institute was launched at Regenesys Business School on the 14th of June 2018. The Institute is set to be a vehicle that will foster economic growth and prosperity amongst the BRICS nations, through education, research, consulting and business matchmaking initiatives. The launch event was attended by the board of the Regenesys Business School, the board of the BRICS Institute, government officials, academics, the media and the public.

Director of the BRICS Institute, Dr. Julian Naidoo said that the Institute speaks the BRICS mandate and will be a gateway for the rest of the BRICS businesses to enter the African Market. The BRICS Institute introduced the BRICS Executive Leadership Development (BELD) programme, which is the first practical executive management initiative aimed at developing world-class leaders and fostering economic growth and shared prosperity between nations.

Dr. Naidoo highlighted that the purpose of the programme is to develop senior leaders from the private sector, state-owned enterprises and the government, in order to stimulate business development among BRICS member countries.

The Department of Trade and Industry showed their support to the BRICS Institute. Director to the office of the Deputy Minister, Mr. Phill Mbanyana has confirmed that “the government is ready to align their work to meet the mandate of the BRICS Institute.”

The event was also a platform to honour Professor Mervyn King SC for his contribution to Corporate Governance. Dr. King received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Regenesys Business School for his commendable and lasting leadership. He is a former Supreme Court of South Africa judge who is recognised internationally as an expert on corporate governance and sustainability. He is best known for chairing the King Committee on Corporate Governance, which issued three comprehensive reports in 1994, 2002 and 2009 endorsing an integrated and inclusive approach to corporate governance in South Africa.


For more information on the BELD Programme, go to


By Ntsikelelo Kuse


BRICS Academic Forum Closes With Recommendation for Heads of State Summit

Image: iStock

The final day of the Academic Forum was the media briefing chaired by South African Professor Ari Sitas. Over the 4 days, intensive debates, discussions and the consensus  was reached. The consensus consisted around ideas, process and entities they want to see created. 

The recommendations will first be sent to track one institutions and/or negotiators and then to the heads of states summit. Some recommendations don’t reach approval status, but the academic forum is the starting point of idea generation for BRICS. Establishing its agenda and how to proceed to achieve these goals. There were five main areas that the BRICS academic forum discussed, debating and applied their minds to.

First was economic prosperity of the BRICS people or citizens what are the mechanism, processes and institutions necessary for the BRICS nations to develop in a responsible way and achieve their goals. For instance smart manufacturing, defining inclusion and how to look at prosperity and the wellbeing of the people.

The second area was universal health provisions and social protects, they want to be absolutely decisive in addressing the problems confronting the majority of the poor people. Moving to developing vaccines for the most dangerous Virus, bacteria and diseases like Zika, Ebola, HIV/Aids etc. Also comparing methods of social protection and how to look after the majority of their people.

The third area of discussion was how to enhance the education, creative and scientific powers together as a BRICS family, possible through co-operations, universities and research and development system in order to make sure society and their minds are well defined.

The fourth area was around peace and security and following in the principle of having a passive world, a world of reconciliatory and devoid of conflict, they would like to intensify this area the most. Finally the fifth area was around looking after BRICS commons like natural commons, space commons and everything from nature and how to be responsible in developing the relations in respect of that.

Brazil Speaker Ivan Oliveira, acknowledged that there is a lot to be done, but there’s a lot BRICS is doing and hopes to see BRICS next year in Brazil with a continues agenda, so that this BRICS academic engagement can have real value, to create bridges all of the world, continuing to foster BRICS co-operation in the 5 areas.

The Russian speaker Georgy Toloraya, spoke on how BRICS has come a very long way over the years, starting off not knowing each other to now having a stronger relationship. He also stated that some recommendations made, may not see the light of day. But stressed the recommendations that did make it to approval like the BRICS bank and energy structures are all ideas originating from BRICS think tanks and deliberations. 

The Indian speaker Ambassador Viswanathan, spoke on the creation of the BRICS think tank which is 5 years old now and was created due to mostly South Africa initiatives. He also spoken on India’s willingness to collaborate with South Africa and the BRICS Members on any initiative.

From China Dong Weihua,  thanked South Africa for hosting providing a platform for the BRICS scholars and experts, to gather and contribute wisdom for the next ten years. She spoke about the adoptions of the recommendations as a testimony of the BRICS spirit featuring openness, inclusiveness, and women comprehension. This year we see the magnification of the cooperation, determination and willingness of the five countries to further their comprehension.

Any adopted recommendation to the BRICS leaders’ summit, will make the forums collective voices heard to supported multilateralism and multi trade system. Also any adoption demonstrates our common goals of development and prosperity.

Rise of unemployment in Brazil

Brazil’s unemployment rate seems to be skyrocketing, with the numbers steadily climbing for a third month. This comes as a shock, considering last year’s decline, but suggests that the breather may have been temporary instead of a sustainable pickup in employment.

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IGBE confirmed that the unemployment rate rose to 13.1% in the three months to March 2018, rising above 12.6% in the October-December 2017 period.

The unemployment rate is believed to be affecting about 14 million people. The lack of jobs is a consequence of on of the worst recessions in Brazilian history, where inflation skyrocketed to 10.6 % in 2015.

According to Reuters, steady growth in off-the-books jobs, which does not have access to work benefits, had driven a nine-month string of falling unemployment that ended in December. Thus far, informal unemployment suffered at the start of 2018 as contracts for temporary holiday-season workers expired, while formal employment has yet to show signs of rising.

This is a clear indication that Brazil’s slow and uneven economic recovery may take a while before trickling down to the labour market.


#LocalFindsWednesday: Maxhosa by Laduma

South African knitwear and esteemed runway designer, Laduma Ngxokolo started his brand, Maxhosa by Laduma in 2010.

The brand was inspired by the Xhosa culture with the vision to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for Amakrwala – Xhosa initiates – who dress up in new ‘dignified’ formal clothing for six months after their manhood initiation.

Laduma felt inspired to create knitwear that caters for men and women and celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics and drew inspiration from Xhosa beadwork patterns, symbolism and colours.

Since his career took off, Ngxokolo received numerous achievements and captured the hearts of fashion lovers, both locally and abroad, more specifically London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York. In 2016, the Design Indaba awarded Ngxokolo’s shawl the coveted title of ‘The Most Beautiful Object in SA’.

Here are some signature Maxhosa by Laduma collections (courtesy of

– The Mtanom’gquba collection celebrates dark skin tones in contrast with bright hues to elevate the appreciation of colour diversity. It captures the beauty of being truly African in a modern context that seeks an eternal way of communicating culture through fashion.

– Socks collection – Maxhosa believes that your feet carry you to an occasion you never anticipated you’d appear in

– My Heritage, My Inheritance which was dedicated to his late mother Lindelwa Ngxokolo, whose dream as a knitwear in the 80s was to travel to Paris to see high-end fashion. Maxhosa made his mother dream come true when he was invited by the Labo Ethinik Fashion Week to showcase his 2013 knitwear.

The brand has also received numerous accolades, including:
– 2014 Premium International Best Emerging Designer for SS15 Menwear
– 2014 Africa Fashion International Emerging Designer of the year award
– 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa Award
– 2016 Fashion Designer of the Year Southern Africa: ABRYANZ Style and Fashion Awards
– 2017 Pride of Africa: Africa Fashion Week Barcelona Awards

Source :