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South Africa is ready for BRICS


08:59, March 14, 2013

Ministers in South Africa are being deployed from across the country for the BRICS summit of the World’s fastest growing emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The summit will take place on the 26th and 27th of this month in Durban, South Africa. CCTV’s Guy Henderson travelled to the host city to see how the preparations are getting underway.

A warm welcome to Durban for South Africa’s foreign minister. Her audience, a mix of local businesspeople, ambassadors, and politicians. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has come here to sell the benefits of BRICS - one of 8 roadshows staged across the country in recent weeks.

"Our membership of BRICS provides us an opportunity to advance the 5 key priority areas that I’m sure by now we can sing by our hearts - education, health, rural development, security, and building a developmental economy that creates decent jobs for all."

And playing host, it’s argued, can only help?something Durban knows well. The World Cup left a visible legacy. The UN Climate Conference, too, boosted profile. At City Hall, organisers are hoping bringing BRICS leaders here could prove the most beneficial of all.

"We believe that the BRICS conference - the minds, and the views and the financial sources that are going to come - I believe is going to fast-track a lot of the projects here: port development, green energy, public transport infrastructure, and housing - we have a huge housing backlog. We believe that the technologies that are being experimented in other BRICS countries, and the financial models of those will benefit us enormously."

Efforts abound in recent weeks, then, to raise awareness city-wide. 300 banners now line the streets ? And even local vendors are encouraged to get involved, by hand-crafting BRICS products. Though every potential customer we spoke to seemed a little confused.

Guy: so are you telling me you have no idea what BRICS is?

"Well, no ?it’s not bricks as in building bricks?

Guy: Any other guesses?

Customer: no.

"BRICS? Um, Building Relationships ?something, um in Society? Something like that ?a get together with the rest of the world? I dunno!"

"Customer: Strange though - it’s in 2 weeks time and we haven’t heard of it. I mean, I’m in the corporate world so I would think I’d know ?but no. Shocking. Are they having some kind of summit?"

Presidential convoys and media coverage across the world, may change that rather rapidly.

"Ask most South Africans about this city’s big successes in recent years and they might mention the fact that it’s hosted the World Cup - or, for the more business minded, the fact that it’s home to the busiest port on the African continent. It is now on the cusp of hosting an event which could have far-reaching, long-term benefits. And yet not many people seem to have even heard of it."

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Zhang Qian)

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