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President Jacob Zuma appears unfazed that he is a feature on global television bulletins and on the front page of newspapers over his relationship with the Gupta family. He intends to travel to India this weekend to attend a summit of the Brics – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – countries. Included in the South African delegation to Goa is the Independent Group’s controversial boss Iqbal Survé. Regular BizNews visitors will recall that Surve’s newspapers have been accused of reporting favourably on all things ANC and that a team of his journalists bizarrely – and falsely – accused a disparate group of journalists of a plot to effect regime change. Survé and the Guptas have been at loggerheads over an ownership stake in Independent. The Gupta family has tentacles in the media, owning through Oakbay investments ANN7 television station and The New Age newspaper. The Gupta and Zuma families are believed to be discussed in-depth in a report on state capture by outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, with indications from the president’s office and ANC minister Des van Rooyen that a court interdict to stop the report is likely. Expect Zuma to draw sharp criticism for “fiddling while Rome burns” if he gets on that jet to Goa this weekend. – Jackie Cameron
By Jenni Evans
Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma will be travelling to Goa in India to attend a Brics summit this weekend, his office said.
The eighth summit of the Brazil Russia India China and SA economic bloc is themed: “Building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions” and aims to build economic growth and prosperity.
On the agenda for the summit is intra-Brics co-operation on global issues including terrorism and what the bloc considers the “democratisation” of the United Nations and Bretton Wood institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.
If all goes according to plan, the Goa Declaration and Action Plan will be among initiatives agreed to.
Independent Group chair Iqbal Surve will be a familiar face among the working group chairs from South Africa to the Brics Business Council, which will also meet the Brics leaders.
Surve will chair the ICT working group.
The others are Siyabonga Gama, Infrastructure; Slauzy Mogami, Agri-Business; Sunil Genesis, Deregulation; Stavros Nicolau, Manufacturing; Brian Dames, Energy and Bhabhalazi Bulunga for Skills Development as well as Dr Danisa Baloyi and Khanyisile Kweyama as leaders of the Black Business Council and Business Unity South Africa respectively.
Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies is part of an advance party to New Delhi for the Brics Trade Fair and a meeting of Brics trade ministers and the Brics Business Forum.
Universities in crisis, Finance Minister being charged, rand tanking, jobs being lost and how does Zuma respond? Goes to Kenya and India.
— Dean Macpherson MP 🇿🇦 (@DeanMacpherson) October 12, 2016
Ahead of the summit South Africa lost 3-0 to Brazil and played to a goalless draw with China in the Brics Under 17s Football Club tournament.
According to the Presidency, in 2015 total intra-Brics trade amounted to R3.1 trillion.
South Africa’s exports to Brics countries increased from R123bn in 2011 to R147bn in 2015.
In the same period SA imports from Brics countries also increased from R115bn to R270bn. Total Intra-Brics foreign direct investment was R554 trillion at the end of February 2016.
The Presidency said that work on establishing the New Development Bank with member states contributing the equivalent of US$100bn had reached the point where all major operational policies and procedures for the bank had been finalised.
The board approved the first set of projects with a total commitment of US$811m and another project for another US$100m is currently under consideration. All are “broadly” in the renewable energy fields.
SA also received a loan worth US$180m for an Eskom project.
Zuma’s delegation will include International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Davies; Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor; Minister of State Security David Mahlobo; Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu and the Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas.
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