Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said its central command team (CCT) welcomes the inclusion of the six nations to Brics because it is underpinned by the need for common prosperity and not by the neo-colonial need to exploit the world’s natural resources as the West does.
Malema was speaking on Sunday at a press briefing after the CCT meeting that was held over the weekend in Kempton Park.
The EFF leader said the expansion of Brics into “a progressive and forward-looking” group now has a mandate to end the “imperialist domination of the world” by the West.
South Africa hosted the 15th Brics summit, which took place in Sandton, Johannesburg, last week where the Brics chair, President Cyril Ramaphosa, announced the inclusion of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the economic bloc.
The Mail & Guardian reported that the inclusion of oil-rich Saudi Arabia is considered a big coup for the Brics alliance as it positions itself as a powerful force against the West’s hegemony. Of the new members, Saudi Arabia has the largest GDP.
The Brics countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are seen as a counterweight to the Western-led world and world news was abuzz after the announcement of the Brics +6. Questions were raised about whether the bloc will rival US leadership, given talks of de-dollarisation and a Brics currency at the summit.
“Brics +6 is a step in the right direction … We believe that in addition to the six new countries that will be admitted into Brics in 2024, there has to be an inclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, Palestine and the Democratic Republic of Congo and all progressives must support Brics as an alternative to the G7 and Nato war alliance,” Malema said.
He said he believes African countries should use South Africa’s proximity to its friends in Brics +6 to pursue the development of pan-African infrastructure programmes and projects.
At least 20 countries, four from Africa, had formally requested to join Brics.
“The African continent is still far behind in terms of intra-continental infrastructure and projects that can uplift the lives of our people. The African Union and all African countries should speak in one voice to pursue partnerships that will result in the development of economically beneficial pan-African infrastructure such as railway projects and electricity transmission lines that will interlink the entire continent, and bring about electricity and industrial expansion for jobs and economic common prosperity,” Malema said.
“These are issues we will be raising and placing on top of the agenda during the 16th Brics+6 summit in Russia in 2024.”