A few African Heads of State have already touched down at the OR Tambo International Airport ahead of the much-anticipated 15th BRICS Summit that will kick start on Tuesday, 22 August.
The weekend saw at least two African leaders arrive in the country already.
Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Sunday welcomed Cameroon Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, who landed at the OR Tambo International Airport, on Sunday afternoon.
Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera is already on home soil after Minister Angie Motshekga received him at the airport on Saturday.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa invited 67 leaders from Africa and the global South to attend the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogues.
Brazil President Luiz Inácio da Silva accompanied by his wife Rosangela da Silva also landed at the OR Tambo International Airport this morning.
The couple were also on the same flight with Brazil’s Former President Dilma Rousseff, who is also the Chair of the BRICS New Development Bank.
Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates President Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be arriving later this evening.
The BRICS grouping of major emerging economies – Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Russia, is holding its 15th summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 22-24 August 2023 under the Chairship of South Africa.
According to President Ramaphosa’s televised speech last night, over 30 Heads of State from across Africa will be attending the summit.
He also announced that over 20 countries have formally applied to join BRICS and several others have expressed an interest in becoming part of the BRICS family.
BRICS expansion is expected to take centre stage as leaders descend on Sandton for a couple of days.
Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong on Friday said his country was backing the expansion of the block, describing it as “a big family of good partners, based on mutual assistance for a win-win cooperation”.
Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa believes the value of BRICS extends beyond the interests of its current members.
“For its efforts to be more effective, BRICS needs to build partnerships with other countries that share its aspirations and perspectives,” President Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
The country’s First Citizen is expected to host President Xi on a State Visit on Tuesday, 22 August 2023, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
It will be President Xi’s fourth Official Visit to South Africa after five years.
BRICS Summit leaders are hoping that the gathering will cement the bloc’s partnership but also benefit the people of South Africa, BRICS, Africa and the global South.
It also seeks to foster economic growth, promote collaboration, attract investment, and display opportunities within South Africa, Africa, and BRICS countries.
The country’s overall trade with its BRICS partners has increased by an average growth of 10% between 2017 and 2021.
Meanwhile, South African trade with BRICS reached R830 billion in 2022 from R487 billion in 2017.
BRICS Business Council, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, will also be bringing large business delegations to South Africa.