JOHANNESBURG, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming 5th BRICS Summit will be an opportunity to promote the South African development, an expert said in an article published by media on Monday.
"On March 26 and 27, South Africa will host the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban, which would be something of a defining moment for South African government and the ruling African National Congress (ANC)," the South African Broadcasting Corporation quoted Saliem Fakir, lecturer at Stellenbosch University, as saying.
BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It will be the first time for South Africa to host the BRICS summit since it officially became a membership of the group on Dec. 24, 2010.
The expert said since the Marikana tragedy in August 2012 "there has been a reaction to western capital that has sought to hector and lecture the ruling ANC on how to run and govern over the mineral resources."
On Aug. 16, 2012, the shootout took place as police attempted to disperse several thousand striking miners at the western capital-controlled Marikana platinum mine in the northern province of the North West, leaving 34 miners dead, 78 other injured and 270 arrested, becoming the bloodiest conflict between police and workers since the end of the apartheid in 1994.
"There is a trend to move to a new axis of relations, and the participation in BRICS is crucial for this shift," said the expert. "The past anti-colonial and anti-imperial politics have helped to shape the BRICS ethos."
A few weeks ago, South Africa's President Zuma warned that the western companies should mend their ways and stop being colonial towards African governments or face the serious consequences.
Saliem Fakir pointed out that the growing interest from the other three BRICS members of India, Russia and China in South Africa's mining, infrastructure and service deals in the last five years is "encouraging the shift" and "will gain momentum as these members' confidence on that Africa is a home for future growth grows."
It was reported that a Chinese company has acquired 45 percent of the total share in a South African platinum mine. "It was the first of the direct Chinese investment in a sector where China would provide 5.75 billion rands (about 640 million U.S. dollars), " said the expert.
The expert said the intra-BRICS trade has reached to the level of 300 billion U.S. dollars.
Saliem Fakir praised China for its aid without imposing any political conditions, saying "China is the biggest player and a growing trading partner for South Africa, has an explicit policy of political non-interference, and China's financing mechanisms are entirely expedient."
In talking about the proposed BRICS development bank, the expert said, "The South African government is limited in its ability to underwrite essential infrastructure deals given the shrinking tax-base and the overall state of finances. As our debt and deficit burden grows, it will have an effect on how much we can borrow and at what cost."
"There is potential for cheap money to be provided through the BRICS development bank," said he. "The western-based development financial institutions are less likely to look favorably at the current political situation and governance of key state enterprises that China will easily provide loans to."