President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday addressed the nation on South Africa’s Foreign Policy and the upcoming BRICS Summit. The BRICS countries will host a three-day summit starting on Tuesday in Sandton, Gauteng.

All the BRICS heads of state will be attending the summit in person, except for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin can’t travel to South Africa because he’s wanted by an international court for war crimes in Ukraine.

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BRICS is an acronym of the five members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It represents 23% of the world’s gross domestic product [GDP] and 42% of the world’s population.

It was formally launched in 2009 and it meets yearly at a summit hosted in rotation by one of the member countries. The meetings aim to assert their position, particularly in relation to the United States and the European Union.

President Cyril Ramaphosa with fellow BRICS Leaders
President Cyril Ramaphosa with fellow BRICS Leaders

It promotes the recognition of a multipolar global order with economic and political balance, with the aim of breaking away from organisations formed in the post-World War II era, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

BRICS has said they have sparked interest from 40 countries in joining the bloc.

Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries looking to join.

Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, Gabon, and Kazakhstan have also expressed interest to join.


“This BRICS Summit is particularly important as it is being held as the world is confronted by fundamental challenges. That are bound to determine the course of international events for years to come,” said Ramaphosa.

“Our world has become increasingly complex and fractured as it is increasingly polarised into competing camps.

“Multilateralism is being replaced by the actions of different power blocs, all of which we trade with, invest with, and whose technology we use.”

“It is for this reason that South Africa continues to advocate for an open and rules-based global governance, trade, financial and investment system. It must be a system that does not depend on the exercise of power or unilateralism, but by the advancement of the interests of the peoples of the world.”