From left: Mandla Mkhwanazi, Javed Malik, Slauzy Mogami, Dr Iqbal Survé, Lizeka Matshekga, Mvuleni Qhena, Irvindra Naidoo and George Sebulela, pose for a photograph after meeting in Sandton, Gauteng. Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - The South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council is currently engaged in talks with its counterparts from the rest of the economic bloc to find common ground on forest certification.

South Africa’s Slauzy Mogami yesterday said they were working to ensure that the BRICS agriculture working committee had consensus before the council’s meeting next month.

Mogami said the local unit had already met Russian and Chinese counterparts in the past few weeks to reach common ground on pertinent issues such as a market mechanism to promote the sustainable use and management of forests.

“We plan to have weekly meetings with our counterparts until we hold the council meeting.

“one of the themes for our chairpersonship is food security,” said Mogami.

“We want to play a significant role in food security in the BRICS countries, and hopefully in the rest of the world.”

Mogami was briefing the BRICS Business Council chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé, and Working Group chairpersons on progress ahead of the Durban meeting.

Sekunjalo Investments executive chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé, who chairs the chapter, said South Africa was ready to host the meeting.

Survé said the group had already engaged various stakeholders.

Survé said the council’s working groups were the engine of the BRICS Business Council.

“You have done incredible work to date. I’m extremely proud of you and your efforts and how well you have done what you have done. There have been challenges, but you have taken to the task at hand like true champions,” he said.

Businessperson Sherrie Donaldson, who serves in the Secretariat of the Skills Development and Manufacturing working groups, said the skills challenge remained an issue in South Africa.

“We want to focus on skills for today and tomorrow and to put much emphasis on re-industrialisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” she said.