Johannesburg - The Brics bloc has introduced a new dynamic
to the world's political and economic systems, International Relations Minister
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Monday.
"We (Brics) also envision and work to realise a more
equitable global political and economic system," she said at a business
breakfast in Johannesburg hosted by The New Age newspaper.
Brics refers to the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
Africa group of large emerging market economies.
South Africa joined Brics to advance the country's national
interests, and promote regional integration and continental development.
Nkoana-Mashabane said Brics allowed South Africa to partner
with key global players to advance international governance and reforms.
Brics, with 43% of the global population, contributed 20 to
25% of global GDP, and 11% of annual foreign direct investment in 2012.
Regarding petrol tariffs, the minister said South Africa was
not insulated from the changes in the global oil price, controls and
speculation that occurred in the market.
The government had taken steps since 1994 to diversify South
Africa's imported oil supply, importing from African countries such as Nigeria
and Angola. Other African oil suppliers were also being considered as future
The minister said South Africa's national interests were
intricately linked to the interests of the African continent.
"It's important that we continue to think globally and
South Africa had supported United Nations resolution 1973,
allowing for the implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya, because the
resolution was about protecting the human rights of Libya's citizens.
Nkoana-Mashabane said the path to resolving the current
conflict in Syria lay in a political solution, and not a military one.
For a political solution to be possible, hostilities within
the country must be suspended, she said.
She agreed with the assessment, with disagreements over
Syria being an example, that the United Nations Security Council needed to be
* Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.