Pandor welcomes Egypt into family of BRICS nations

Friday, April 19, 2024

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has welcomed Egypt into the family of BRICS nations.

“This development further enhances the role the South plays in global matters,” she said on Friday. 

The BRICS grouping of major emerging economies – Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Russia –  has admitted four new members. These include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. 

Pandor was speaking in Pretoria where she was co-chairing the 10th Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) with her counterpart, Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry.

Meanwhile, Pandor said South Africa and Egypt need to exponentially increase trade and investment. 

“In this regard, partnerships between our private sectors and Sstate-owned entities are crucial. This also entails the need to formally establish and launch a Business Council,” she said. 

The Minister announced on Friday that a decision on the Business Council has been taken and once operational, this structure will go a long way in coordinating and galvanising trade and investment opportunities. 

She also asked her counterpart to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will facilitate easier trade.

“As an important blueprint and contributor to integration, the AfCFTA lessens the barriers towards trade, promotes preferential trade and provides an enabling framework, which will be mutually beneficial to both our two countries and the continent in general.”

She stated that long bonds of friendship, solidarity and collaboration underpin their relationship. 

Pandor also paid tribute to Egypt for supporting the country’s anti-apartheid movement, which eventually led to the demise of the old order and the creation of a democratic and free South Africa.

Pandor believes that the depth and impact of the bilateral relationship is very important. “The Cape to Cairo nexus should not only be one of our guiding lights but should highlight the importance of regional integration.” 


Meanwhile, Pandor said the framework provided by the JCC entails that the constituent committees cover a wide range of areas of bilateral cooperation. 

These include trade and investment, agriculture and agro-processing, infrastructure development, water resources management, health, financial services, tourism, transport, information technology, communications, women and people with disabilities, judicial matters, sport, arts and culture, people-to-people links and consular issues. 

She also announced that several Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be concluded during the session. 


She highlighted several conflicts and wars that have erupted and called on the international community to be vigilant and redouble its efforts to promote peace, stability and development. 

“The United Nations, our premier guarantor of global order as enshrined in its charter, and the regional organisations should remain seized and be decisive in addressing these matters.” 

However, Pandor said the world was witnessing an attack on the global system of multilateralism and its institutions of governance.

“The world is seeing the rise of unilateralism and impunity that threatens to erode the very foundations of multilateralism, international law and the creation of a just and equitable world.”

South Africa, she said, is deeply concerned about the unfolding tragedy that has befallen the people of Palestine. 

“The catastrophe that is happening before our eyes in the Gaza Strip, with the destruction carried out by the occupying state of Israel, and the humanitarian disaster therein, is a collective blemish on the moral conscience of the world.” 

She also spoke about the unresolved plight of the Saharawi people. 

“Silencing the Guns on our continent is a pressing challenge that the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities should continue to address.” 

She reiterated South Africa’s position, which views dialogue, mediation and negotiations as vital for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. 

“In this regard, it is important not to further delay the reforms needed to transform the United Nations, particularly the United Nations Security Council, and for it to reflect the realities of today. In this endeavour, although North-South collaboration remains important, the Global South should remain united in ensuring that its voice is resoundingly clear.” –