KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has urged women to take advantage of the myriad of business opportunities flowing from the Brics agreements.
Addressing delegates attending the Brics Women’s Business Alliance (WBA) Trade in Durban on Sunday, Dube-Ncube said the Brics platform should be used to address the problem around the exclusion of women from the mainstream economy.
As women businesses and decision-makers, we have a duty to contest the global trade and investment terrain with all our might
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The WBA Trade event was one of the curtain-raisers for the main Brics two-day summit scheduled to start in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The summit, which will be attended by leaders of the Brics countries — comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre until Thursday.
With a total population of about 4 billion people, the Brics countries represent 24% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Closer co-operation between the Brics countries will result in more trade and investment within the bloc.
Dube-Ncube said KZN was ready to capitalise on the Brics’ trade and investment opportunities.
“As the country’s second biggest contributor to the GDP, KwaZulu-Natal is an economic powerhouse and a highly competitive investment destination.
“Not only do we boast a world-class multi-modal transport system and are home to two special economic zones (Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone), we are hard at work resuscitating manufacturing, which has always been our strong point,” she said.
The Brics summit takes place as the KZN provincial government is busy working on a number of economic programmes meant to rejuvenate the regional economy following the devastation caused by Covid-19, the 2021 unrest and the floods.
The provincial government, Dube-Ncube said, has already pumped billions of rands into infrastructure development projects.
“As things stand, under the auspices of the country’s custodian of ports, rail and pipelines Transnet SOC, we are rolling out the more than R150 billion expansion of the country’s premier ports which are located in our province, namely the Port of Durban and the Port of Richards Bay. Close to 600 000 direct and indirect jobs will be created during implementation.
“As a province, we are serious about creating jobs. In the current financial year, we aim to create close to 500 000 jobs in the public service. This we do out of the understanding that as a developmental state, we shoulder the responsibility to act as catalysts for economic growth and development.
We are also actively using public procurement as a tool to promote women-owned businesses