The ANC delegation led by ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Minerals and Energy Gwede Mantashe and ANC deputy secretary Nomvula Mokonyane has met with Brazilian President Lula Da Silva for a brief discussion on issues of mutual interest ahead of the official start of the 15th BRICS Summit.
The meeting took place at the Leonardo Hotel, a stone’s throw from the Sandton Convention Centre where the summit is expected to get under way later this afternoon.
The meeting was also attended by Cosatu and SACP.
Mantashe said the briefing included the issue of de- dollarisation among other matters as well as other inter-party challenges and struggle for anti-imperialism.
“The point of poverty, unemployment formed part of the discussion during this meeting,” Mantashe said.
Addressing some of the pertinent areas of discussion, Mbalula said the wide-ranging meeting did indeed touch on the issue of de-dollarisation and expansion of BRICS as an economic and development block.
“We briefed Da Silva about the BRICS Plus dialogue and some of the important resolutions that we took.
“He did say that the issue of expansion and de-dollarisation will be part of the discussions. It is a very complicated issue but we are determined to look at it and they too will look at it. They did reflect on it,” Mbalula said.
Mbalula said most of the discussion focused on inter-party issues and challenges.
“Most of the discussions focused on inter-party challenges and how to survive difficult circumstances and the grand coalitions which Da Silva won the elections in Brazil and he worked with other political parties. We then reaffirmed our position in terms of anti-imperialism.
"We also re-affirmed our position regarding a multipolar world. Those are the important principles which we shared,“ Mbalula said.
Mokonyane said another centre of discussion with Da Silva was the issue of consolidation of SA-Brazil and ANC historical relations.
“One of the key things as about consolidating the historical relations, particularly, the party to party level. He (Da Silva) emphasised that the most important thing is to ensure that at the party level, we are able to shape what then becomes government’s programme and interventions,” she said.
He said this interaction with the Brazilian leader alongside Cosatu and SACP revived the importance of the alliance in its labour based trade unions and socialist outlook of the SACP.
Mbalula said as the BRICS Summit begins, it was important for the ANC to build stronger, progressive relations to fend off imperialism.
“We need to build stronger, progressive parties in our respective continents as we bulwark against imperialism and its agenda to subjugate our national and regional interests to those of the Western world.
“We reiterate our gratitude at the presence of the Brazilian delegate here, and for making time to meet us during this hectic programme of the BRICS Summit.
“We believe that our countries stand to benefit from party-party relations,” Mbalula said.