COSATU statement on preparations for the BRICS Summit including the BRICS Trade Union Forum

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the 15TH BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit on the 22nd – 24th August 2023 being hosted by South Africa.

BRICS is a growing and influential group of nations bringing together over 3.2 billion people.  The BRICS nations, includes some of the fastest growing economies and with over 31% of total gross domestic product is now the world’s largest economic block.  Three of the BRICS nations are in the ten largest economies.  Its growing importance in international trade and relations has seen numerous countries across the world and the ideological spectrum applying to join. 

The BRICS grouping is emerging as a key pillar for an inclusive, just and equitable international community and a foundation for a non-aligned world order premised upon multi-lateral engagements to resolve conflicts.  It has become an important platform for the views and interests of emerging and developing nations to be heard and accommodated.   All too often the interests of developing nations and the South have been undermined and ignored by the Bretton Woods institutions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

We support Government’s efforts led by President Cyril Ramaphosa to enhance South Africa’s hard won non-aligned status and our firm tradition of negotiations to resolve often intractable conflicts at home and abroad.  South Africa’s membership of BRICS helps support and boost our history of non-alignment and the developmental agenda for Africa and the South.

This grouping is important for South Africa as its members are amongst our major trading partners and sources of investment and tourism.  The BRICS’ New Development Bank is beginning to play a positive role in investing in our infrastructure needs.  Promoting trade, investment and financing is key to growing our Africa’s economy, addressing our infrastructure backlog, and slashing unemployment and poverty.

COSATU has been involved in the preparations to the host the BRICS Summit where we are working with our sister federations to host the BRICS Trade Unions Forum.  This Forum will take place alongside the Employment Working Group and the Labour Ministerial meeting in September.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687