The anticipation is over and the stage is set. The much vaunted 15th Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Summit kicks off at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg today.
The Summit is held under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism” and is expected to last until Thursday.
The Summit brings together Heads of State and Government from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa with at least 30 other Heads and of State and Government from Africa and all across the world expected to attend.
President Cyril Ramaphosa set the tone for the summit on Sunday evening, saying the BRICS grouping has the ability to “collectively shape global dynamics and acting together, have the potential to drive significant changes in the world economy and international relations”.
“This BRICS Summit is particularly important as it is being held as the world is confronted by fundamental challenges that are bound to determine the course of international events for years to come.
“Our world has become increasingly complex and fractured as it is increasingly polarised into competing camps. Multilateralism is being replaced by the actions of different power blocs, all of which we trade with, invest with, and whose technology we use.
“It is for this reason that South Africa continues to advocate for an open and rules-based global governance, trade, financial and investment system. It must be a system that does not depend on the exercise of power or unilateralism, but by the advancement of the interests of the peoples of the world,” he told the nation.
Road closures, safety and security
Traffic around the Sandton Convention Centre is expected to be disrupted during the week.
Road closures around the venue are as follows:
Maude Street: one-way traffic from 5th Street to West Street.
West Street: lanes closest to the convention centre will be closed. The lanes furthest away will be open for traffic.
Alice Lane: lanes closest to the convention centre will be closed. The lanes furthest away will be open for traffic.
5th Street: lanes closest to the convention centre will be closed. The lanes furthest away will be open for traffic.
On Wednesday, traffic around the Midrand Gallagher Estate will also be affected from about 3pm.
Those road closures are as follows:
Gallagher Avenue and Richards Drive
Richards Drive traffic circle
Johnnic and Lupton Street
Johnnic and Pretoria Main Road
Last week, the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) moved to assure South Africans and delegates at the Summit that law enforcement officials will be on high alert.
The structure said it had mobilised “maximum resources from all government departments” to ensure the safety of the summit.
“[The] NATJOINTS is ready to ensure that as government prepares to welcome Heads of State, Ministers and leaders from various countries from across the world - that this happens in a safe and secure environment with minimal to no incidents of instability and criminality.
“A priority committee comprised of various government departments across all three spheres, has been meeting regularly with all relevant role-players to ensure a security plan is developed that looks at transport, route, venue, accommodation, traffic control, sea, land and airport border security.
“The safety and security preparations for the Summit are on track, with all critical role players ready to execute their various responsibilities as per their mandate,” the structure said.
The BRICS leaders are expected to deliver their first statements this afternoon.
Source: South African Government News Agency