BRICS? Should South Africa Join BRICS

2013-03-26 07:36

For real fundamental development to practically happen in this country,  for this country to move forward in real terms we need to focus on internal systems. We need to adjusts and synchronize our internal thermostat. We have to leverage our resources internally, in particular extent the economy to include a greater number of South Africans who are in the periphery of the mainstream. That means our efforts should be geared on personal improvements in the form of education and skills development.

My view is that joining BRIC to make it BRICS does not help issues in real terms from the South African vantage point. We are weak, not just weak but very weak. We have a population of 50 million while other member countries of BRICS have big numbers: China and Indian each has 1 billion populations and the majority is economically sharp and versatile with plethora of modern skills.

The reality in South Africa is vastly different. According to Statistics South Africa over 70% of South Africans live in poor low income communities. South Africa may have 50 million people but in reality almost 70% of the population is economically inactive. So you must as well as say we have some 20 million people. Our efforts should have been on personal improvements and skills development not attaching ourselves with others thinking we can derive some kind of crumbs falling from the table or feed ourselves with left overs from their economies.

Our manufacturing system is old and fragile and cannot compare with the other BRICS countries – it does not even come near. It is evident to all that China is on a mission course to securing strategic countries to use to market it ever increasing products and South Africa is used an opening for the rest of Africa.

The correct option was to link South Africa with Nigeria and Kenya and create a platform for what is being called "Africa Rising" in the western media. Nigeria and Kenya are fast growing while South Africa is ever fading as the leading economy in Africa. Working with Nigeria and Kenya would have energized South African entrepreneurs and not suffocate them with Chinese products that are unleashed across the strategic points of this country.

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