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South African ambassador on 2013 BRICS summit

(People's Daily Online)

11:03, December 11, 2012

Ambassador Jerry M Matjila, Director-General of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, is interviewed by People's Daily Online.(People's Daily Online/Weng Qiyu)

The fifth BRICS summit will be held in South Africa from March 25 - 27, 2013. As the host, South Africa has attached great importance to the summit. Ambassador Jerry M Matjila, Director-General of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, has visited Brazil, Russia, China and India to have better communication with the counterparts in each country concerning the fifth summit.

Recently, Ambassador Matjila came to China and was interviewed by People's Daily Online. Ambassador Matjila has talked about some issues under discussion and has shown great expectation to the summit next year.

People's Daily Online: We understand that you come here to talk about the summit next year with the Chinese counterparts. What have you discussed?

Ambassador Matjila: It's mainly about normal information. Now we have a theme called “BRICs and Africa-partnership for development, integration and industrialization.” So far I am very satisfied with the meeting with Chinese counterparts. We have agreed on many issues. For years, China has been very active and supportive towards Africa. We have exchanged ideas about what could we achieve in the summit in Durban on March 27, 2013. There are a number of complete ideas of what we could achieve, like the development of banks and the launching of BRICS think tanks. Chinese counterparts have been very supportive. There will be interaction between business leaders, executive presidents, academics in the next summit. We may also invite some African leaders to dialog with BRICS experts. We believe we can achieve it in Durban in the fifth summit and we hope we can open the second round by the end of first round.

People's Daily Online: What issues will be talked in the next summit?

Ambassador Matjila: In Brazil, Russia, China, we think that maybe the leaders need to reflect on international issues. Because these five countries are of pure priors on global affairs. It’s very important for the leaders of countries to find some consensus on issues.

We thought we can then reflect peace security in the world and the on-going financial crisis and to see how the five countries can make positive responds and contribute to global economic crisis, as the West is in problem, America is at budget problem. The five countries are very important role players in the regions. How can we help our region and neighborhood? In this way we can bring the collective energy, and then discuss issues about how can we unlock Africa potential.

We also think about issues of future. How do we as BRICS leaders shape the future, how does future look like, how do we participate in the global system of power relations, then contribute going forward. There will be a various topics that will be discussed by BRICS academics, as education, agriculture infrastructure, and telecommunication and how will all of these be dealt with in African countries. After talking about these issues, we come to meet the leaders of BRICS presidents.

People's Daily Online: There are only 3 months left before the summit, what kind of preparation has been done on the South African side?

Ambassador Matjila: What can be sure is the summit is going to be held in Durban, it is a beautiful costal port. We prepared five hotels, each BRICS country will stay in a hotel, and we also arrange the situation where the leaders can have bilateral discussion.

We are also going to hold a cultural show which contains mainly BRICS cultures on March 26. 2013. To make sure we can all watch the beautiful cultural talent of the BRICS countries. We also hope some of the leaders can come that day. I think we’ve prepared most advances. Before summit, there are some activists, such like academic forum, business workshop for finance ministers, trade ministers. I think it’s going to be a great experience in managing big events and we try to contribute the harmony in the world. This is a major event held by Africa. We are looking for the five countries leaders to come the summit in the year of euro crisis, global financial crisis. When this five country leaders meet, I believe this is going to be of significance to the whole world.

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