“Honourable House Chairperson,
The ACDP, having participated in the BRICS Summit and Parliamentary Forum held this year, is keenly aware that BRICS is a grouping of emerging market countries that seek to establish deeper ties between their nations and cooperate on economic expansion, including trade. In this regard the BRICS countries seek to depend on each other for growing influence in the world. Additionally, they strive to advance the south-south agenda and the transformation of the international multilateral institutions, acting as a balance against traditional Western influence.
Goldman Sachs positions that the global economy will be dominated by the BRICS economies by 2050. The main comparative advantage of this group is their low labour costs, favourable demographics, and abundant natural resources.
In 2013, BRICS accounted for around 27% of global GDP in purchasing power. Currently, BRICS accounts for 32% of global trade, surpassing the G7. The five countries have a total population of 2.88 billion, accounting for around 42 per cent of the entire global population. The countries in the BRICS bloc cover 26 per cent of the total land area on earth. This demographical and statistical information is set to change, as in January 2024 another six countries will be added to the BRICS block, namely: Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
China has a GDP of $19.3 trillion, India $3.7 trillion, Brazil $2.4 trillion, Russia $2.240 trillion while SA has a paltry GDP of $405.87 billion. Clearly, we lag behind our BRICS counterparts because of the numerous own goals scored by the ruling party. Our manufacturing sector is in decline due to failed economic policies. We have some of the highest crime, unemployment, poverty, and inequality rates in the world, with an inefficient electricity supply and water infrastructure collapsing, 50% of all water from bulk suppliers never reaches the end consumer.
While the economies of our BRICS partners continue to grow, SA has lost its no.1 spot as Africa’s top economy. We are now no.3 behind Nigeria and Egypt. We are set to borrow over R500 billion per annum over the outer lying years. Unless the ANC is replaced by the ACDP, our standing in BRICS, and that as a nation is in jeopardy.”