South Africa hosts First BRICS Meeting in Bela Bela

As Chair of BRICS for the year 2023, South Africa will host the first meeting of its tenure – the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas – in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province, from 01-02 February 2023.


Professor Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large for Asia and BRICS and South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa will host his counterparts from the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China.


BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – which together represent about 41% of the world’s population, 26% of the planet’s landmass across four of the continents, 25% of global GDP and 20% of world trade.


South Africa is Chairing BRICS under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism”. The theme emphasises the continued value of BRICS as a partnership of leading emerging markets and developing countries providing leadership and momentum towards global growth, sustainable development and inclusion of the global South in the world system.


The theme informs South Africa’s priorities for 2023, namely developing a partnership towards an equitable Just Transition; transforming education and skills development for the future; unlocking opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; strengthening post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and the attainment of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and strengthening multilateralism, including working towards real reform of global governance institutions and strengthening the meaningful participation of women in peace processes.


Senior government officials from South Africa and the South African Chapters of the BRICS Business Council, BRICS Women’s Business Alliance and the BRICS Think Tanks Council will use the First BRICS Sherpa and Sous-Sherpa meeting to introduce South Africa’s priorities and expectations as Chair of BRICS for 2023 to our BRICS partners.


Media are invited as follows:


Date: Wednesday, 1 February 2023
Time: 09h00
Venue: Mabula Lodge, Bela Bela, Limpopo


Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974




OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Road




BRICS EWG convene in SA to discuss labour market policy issues

The Department of Employment and Labour is gearing itself to host the first in a series of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries’ Employment Working Group (EWG) meetings planned in 2023.


Simultaneously, the BRICS Research Network Forum will also meet as well. The Department of Employment and Labour will coordinate the labour and employment stream during the SA presidency in 2023.


This stream entails arranging the BRICS Employment Working Group meetings, the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes meeting and the 9th BRICS Labour and Employment Minister’s Meeting (LEMM) in 2023.


Department of Employment and Labour’s Acting Deputy Director-General of Labour Policy & Industrial Relations (LP&IR) branch, Sipho Ndebele said the at the apex of discussions will be social security issues. Ndebele said the first meeting will be held from 21-24 February 2023 and this will be followed by other meetings in May, June and September.


“This series of EWG and Research Network Forum meetings will culminate with the EWG Labour & Employment Minister’s Meeting in September 2023. We envisage the two forums meetings to discuss priority issues in the technical meetings in preparations for the Labour and Employment Ministerial meeting,” he said.


Ndebele said SA Presidency of BRICS provide it with an opportunity to promote regional and global issues on the back of skyrocketing unemployment and health fallout created by the pandemic.


The Republic of South Africa on 1st January 2023 formally assumed the Presidency of BRICS for a period of one year after succeeding Peoples Republic of China. It will be the third time South Africa takes the reigns of Presidency of BRICS. The country assumes its chairship amidst the global issues such as Covid-19, sharp rise – in food prices, fertilisers, energy, interest rates, currency depreciation, stagflation and unemployment.


South Africa’s theme for its Presidency is: “Ensuring decent work, dignity and respect for all!”


The thematic issues of discussion will focus on:


  • Building sustainable enterprises, including new forms of employment and increasing productivity

  • Promoting labour rights and decreasing decent work deficits in the context of the recovery

  • Universal social protection and ensuring minimum basic income

  • Promoting decent work by closing skills gaps in the informal economy


The LEMM in 2022 adopted a Ministerial Declaration with firm commitments to promoting Green Jobs for Sustainable Development; skills development and technological innovation to promote economic growth and social progress; promotion of a human-centred approach in line with 2019 ILO Centenary Declaration for the future of work.


In a drive to ensure the support of global initiatives for a human-centred recovery from the Covid-19 crisis South Africa has also invited as part of the Africa Outreach programmes countries such as Botswana, eSwatini, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The African Union is also invited. The ILO and the International Social Security Association (ISSA) will provide technical support during the meetings.


BRICS is an economic bloc that includes: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Formed on 16 June 2009, South Africa joined BRICS in December 2010.


The first BRICS EWG and Research Network Forum meetings will be held as follows:


Date: 21-24 February 2023
Venue: Misty Hills Country Hotel Conference Centre & Spa, Muldersdrift.


Teboho Thejane
Cell: 082 697 0694



President Cyril Ramaphosa extends wishes on Chinese Lunar New Year and annual Spring festival

President Cyril Ramaphosa extends his best wishes to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China on the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year and Annual Spring Festival.


President Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, expressed his wish that the advent of the Year of the Rabbit will indeed endow citizens of the People’s Republic of China with the longevity, peace and prosperity associated with the zodiac sign for the year ahead.


South Africa values the vibrant economic relations and political cooperation that characterise its partnership with the People’s Republic of China.


President Ramaphosa said: “My dear brothers and sisters from China and all Chinese communities around the world: I wish you all a happy Lunar New Year and a prosperous Spring Festival 2023.


“On behalf of the Government and People of South Africa, I wish the Government and the people of China, including here in South Africa, a happy and fulfilling time of goodwill, celebration and friendship, as you renew the bonds between friends or reunite with family during this period.”


“As we enter the New Year, we are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China in 1998.


“In addition, South Africa will succeed China as Chair and host of the next BRICS Summit, during which we hope to receive His Excellency, President Xi Jinping in South Africa. These occasions provide ample cause for celebration.”


Media enquiries:

Vincent Magwenya
Cell: 082 835 6325



Minister Nathi Mthethwa announces major sport events in first Quarter of 2023

The year 2023 kicks off with several international sport events in different sport disciplines which are set to take place at various centres around the country. Some of these sport events, such as Table Tennis and Netball, are preludes of the main sport activities to take place later in the year.


In a major announcement on the international sport events to be hosted by South Africa, Minister Nathi Mthethwa commented as follows:


“Whilst more has been reported on the hosting of the 2023 Netball World Cup by South Africa, little is known about the other major events that will kick-start our national sport programme for the 2023 calendar year. Whereas the hosting of major sport events has a lot to do with sports’ entertainment value, our decisions have more to do with sports’ contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Indeed the 2010 FIFA World Cup is said to have made a positive economic impact to the order of US$509 million to the 2010 real GDP. Whilst we have to be circumspect about the number and nature of events we host, the impact on the country’s economic recovery has to be weighed against the opportunity cost of not doing so”.


“As early as the first quarter of 2023”, the Minister added,” the country will host several major events in the disciplines of Men’s and Women’s Cricket, Netball and Table Tennis. Additionally, as part of South Africa assuming Chairship of the BRICS Ministers of Sport Forum, we will also be hosting the 2023 BRICS Games this year”.


By way of specific events, the following will be hosted by South Africa in the first quarter of 2023:


1. Table Tennis

World Table Tennis Championships to take place in Durban from 8 to 15 January, ahead of the actual Championships which take place in the same Province in May.


2. Netball

Netball Quad Series which takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 21 to 25 January will see the Proteas taking on their counterparts from Australia, England and New Zealand ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup that takes place at the same venue in July/August.


3. Cricket

ICC U/19 Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup, which will be held in Potchefstroom and Benoni from 14 to 29 January. This will be the first edition of the event.
SA20 Cricket League which will be held for the first time at several venues from 10 to 23 January.
8th ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 which takes place at Newlands/Paarl/Gqeberha from 10 to 26 January.

It goes without saying that Table Tennis, Netball and Cricket fans should look forward to quality matchups featuring the best teams in the world!



Masechaba Khumalo
Minister’s Spokesperson
Tel: 066 380 7408


Mickey Modisane
Chief Director- Stakeholder Relations & Special Projects
Tel: 082 992 0101



South Africa and the People’s Republic of China commemorate 25 years of Diplomatic Relations

Today, 1 January 2023, marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, which came into effect from 1 January 1998. Throughout the past 25 years, the two countries have deepened their wide-ranging bilateral relations, which have since been elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and underpinned by a new 10-Year Strategic Programmes of Cooperation (2020-2029).


Regular interaction between South Africa and China takes place at various official levels and include exchanges of State Visits and high-level engagements; cooperation across different Government Ministries; Parliament; business entities; and people-to-people connections. These engagements are a testimony to the great importance attached by both sides to the historic political and economic ties. South Africa and China enjoy vibrant economic relations and China is by far South Africa’s largest global trading partner. The bilateral trade grew exponentially over the years, increasing from less than R1 billion in 1998 to the current levels of R544 billion in 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africa is also China’s number one trading partner in Africa.


More importantly, the mutually beneficial relationship supports South Africa’s foreign policy objectives towards the achievement of its domestic development imperatives, as well as promotes the broader socio-economic development goals of the African continent. The collaboration goes beyond bilateral relations to also include regional and multilateral cooperation to advance the agenda of the Global South. This year, South Africa will be hosting the 15th BRICS Summit as the Chair, having taken over from China as Chair during 2022. Furthermore, the two countries remain committed to close cooperation and partnership within the context of the Forum on China – Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which drives joint continental development initiatives.


As part of the 25th anniversary of bilateral relations, Minister Pandor and the Foreign Minister of China have exchanged letters of congratulations to reaffirm the well-established relations. The two sides are keen to explore further areas of collaboration for the mutual benefit, economic growth, and prosperity of their respective nations. Furthermore, the two governments have planned several activities that will take place throughout the year in both South Africa and China, to celebrate this milestone.




OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Road