The PC should actively exploit the opportunities presented by South Africa's chairing of BRICS for 2013-14 to elevate its profile and to advance its policy monitoring and executive oversight role over what is one of South Africa's key foreign policy process (alongside South Africa's relationship with the African Union and its supporting institutions). The BRICS process will unfold during SA's chairing in far-reaching ways, influencing the next five year cycle of BRICS. The PC, perhaps with allied PC's (especially Trade and Industry) could plan a series of briefings, in different formats, from Ministers, senior government officials, researchers and civil society, which exploit the PC's proximity to the unfolding process during 2013-14.
South Africa in the BRICS Forum: some follow-up points
This brief report provides some suggestions for follow-up action by the Portfolio Committee (PC), arising from the presentations and discussions held on the 12th February 2013 entitled South Africa in the BRICS Forum. A comprehensive summary of the discussion was published soon after the workshop. The suggestions take into account the outcomes of the 5th BRICS Summit, held in Durban in March 2013.
In particular, it is suggested that the PC carve out a niche for itself in monitoring and promoting debate on the strategic outcomes of the Durban summit - namely:
- The BRICS Development Bank
- The BRICS Business Council
- The BRICS Think Tank, and
- Africa Outreach processes.
These four outcomes are most closely associated with South Africa's hosting of the Summit. They will also be the focus of particular activity by government agencies, including the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, to secure their speedy institionalisation.