The benefits South Africa gets from hosting the 15th BRICS Summit outweigh the costs that the country paid in preparing for the conference, the country’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said Wednesday.
“The list of benefits South Africa gained is endless. Key, among many priorities that South Africa set for itself during the summit, was to strengthen the partnership between BRICS and African countries.
In this regard, BRICS leaders reiterated their support for the African Union’s Agenda 2063; in particular, they supported the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area through economic and financial cooperation between BRICS and African countries,” the DIRCO said in a statement.
The DIRCO’s statement came as the Democratic Alliance, an opposition political party in the country, issued a statement saying South Africa spent 180 million rands (about 9.7 million U.S. dollars) on the “BRICS talk show.”
“While it is true that just over 100 million rands, as reported by DIRCO, was contributed toward the successful hosting of the BRICS Summit, the economic benefits to the City of Johannesburg far outweigh the 100 million rands DIRCO contributed,” the statement said.
Other objectives include South Africa leveraging its political and economic relations with BRICS members to address its challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality through increased intra-BRICS trade, investment, tourism, capacity building, and technology transfers, the DIRCO said.
BRICS is the acronym for an emerging-market cooperative mechanism that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. During the group’s summit held in August in South Africa, BRICS leaders agreed to invite six countries, namely Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group. Their full membership will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.