Following nominations by the two apex business organisations, Business Unity South Africa and the Black Business Council, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, has confirmed the appointment of five business leaders, who have extensive global experience, to lead the SA Chapter of the BRICS Business Council (SABBC) for the term 2022 to 2025.

Given the sterling contribution over the past term, Ms Busi Mabuza, Chairperson of the Industrial Development Corporation, Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, Executive Director of Discovery Holdings, Mr Elias Monage, President of the Black Business Council, and Dr Stavros Nicolaou, Senior Executive Director of Aspen Pharmacare have been reappointed to serve another term.  Ms Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers, has been appointed as the fifth member to join the Council.  Mahanyele-Dabengwa’s addition to the Council brings immense strategic value, given Naspers’ global footprint, particularly in the BRICS partner nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China, and its home base, South Africa.

“The role of the South Africa Chapter of the BRICS Business Council at this juncture, both from a domestic and global perspective, has never been more critical.  Our central focus is to actively and aggressively seek trade-led investments from our partner nations to our shores, as a country and a continent.  As we reach the milestone of our 10th Anniversary, which coincides with South Africa’s Chairship of the global BRICS Business Council in 2023, our aim is to pivot the trajectory by injecting a level of pragmatism into the BBC, through delivery of tangible projects across BRICS countries” said Ms Busi Mabuza, who retains the Chairship of the SA Chapter.

The core purpose of the SABBC is to strengthen and promote economic, trade, business and investment ties between the business communities of the BRICS countries in the national and continental interest.  Over the past few years, the Council has actively pursued its role by advocating the value of BRICS to all stakeholders, fostering regular dialogue between the business communities and Governments of the BRICS nations and all other stakeholders, identifying problems and bottlenecks to greater economic, trade and investment ties amongst the member countries and recommending solutions, advancing South Africa’s brand internationally and assisting in fostering a relationship with Government that creates a regulatory environment conducive to strengthening and promoting economic, trade, business and investment ties.

Over the past term, the SABBC has strengthened its collaboration with government and the broader business community to ensure that its objectives and activities are aligned.

Business Unity SA (BUSA) CEO, Cas Coovadia says: “The SA BRICS Business Council has, during the term that is coming to an end, been very effective and professional. This is, in large part, testimony to the sterling leadership of Ms Busi Mabuza. She has led the Council to achieving numerous objectives, and has been assisted by her colleagues on the Council, the leadership of the nine Working Groups and the Secretariat steered by the NBI and  led by Sharmayne Venkatsamy.  We are thus very supportive of the Council members put forward by business. We wish them well for the next term of office and urge them to ensure the SA BRICS Business Council remains relevant and represents SA business appropriately in the affairs of BRICS

“The Black Business Council believes that the collective appointed to the BRICS Business Council has the right credentials and capabilities to promote economic diplomacy within the BRICS countries. With this collective, the aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be realised. As the BBC, we will offer our full support to the Council,” said Kganki Matabane, the CEO of the Black Business Council.

The BRICS Business Council’s work is executed through its nine Working Groups that work across all five BRICS countries, which focus on the following key sectors: Agribusiness, Aviation, Deregulation, Digital Economy, Energy & Green Economy, Financial Services, Infrastructure,  Manufacturing and Skills Development.  According to Busi Mabuza “Over the past three years, the Council has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Working Groups are representative and inclusive of business organisations and sector experts ensuring that they actively articulate business, sector and organisation interests in the interest of furthering trade and investment objectives of the nation.  This has been fundamental to fortifying the mandate of the BRICS Business Council”

BRICS, has emerged as an influential, global multi-lateral platform since its establishment in June 2006. South Africa joined BRICS in 2010.  BRICS was established as a forum of like-minded, progressive emerging market and developing countries committed to the need to restructure the global political, economic and financial architecture to be more equitable, balanced and resting on the important pillars of multilateralism and international law.   The BRICS Business Council was formed as a result of a resolution taken at the BRICS Summit in Durban in 2013.   South Africa’s participation in BRICS continues to emphasise concrete cooperation that contributes both directly and indirectly to the priorities of a better South Africa, a better Africa, and a better world.

BRICS is a force to be reckoned with, as 40 % of the world’s population live in the BRICS countries.  In economic terms they account for approximately 30% of global GDP, which is projected to surpass the size of the G-7 economies by mid-century.   BRICS is indeed an epochal development and is gaining in ascendancy as an influential global platform.

The role of BRICS has come into sharp focus following the recent developments in Europe.  The BRICS multilateral alliance is poised to play a substantive role as the world is recalibrated geopolitically and economically.  The time is now for South Africa, and Africa, to leverage on these shifting global dynamics.

Issued jointly by:

the dtic                          BUSA                                  BBC                     BRICS Business Council

For enquires, please contact:

Sharmayne Venkatsamy
SA Chapter of the BRICS Business Council
Mobile: 083 254 1469

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