Elias Monage is chairman of the Black Business Council (BBC), a South African organisation that aims to transform the South African economy by changing existing policies to achieve meaningful economic growth.
He is also a member of the SA BRICS Business Council. The SA BRICS Business Council was established during the Fifth BRICS Summit, held in Durban, South Africa, on 26-27 March 2013. The Council was created as a platform to promote and strengthen business, trade relations and investment ties amongst the business communities of the five BRICS countries.
One of the objectives of the Black Business Council is to transform South Africa’s economy. How exactly does the Council help to increase the inclusiveness of the country’s economy and stimulate economic growth? What challenges do you face?
Elias Monage said that it is important to talk about two processes, not only the recovery of the economic system, but also its reconstruction.
“Now, the Black Business Council comes within the orbit of the BRICS where we say we need them to relook at the trade patterns and trade relations between the BRICS countries including even what is happening in our own country, so that we can deal with various centers of the economy in the country. And then, once we talk about the inclusive economy in South Africa, it becomes easy in terms of other companies that are coming and investing in South Africa, in the continent, to relook at how we include other people in that configuration in terms of the ownership”, he added.
The countries that make up the BRICS community, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, in terms of the total share of the gross social product in the world economy, have overtaken the G7 member countries, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain , USA and EU. The… pic.twitter.com/Cn58FyvMUO
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April 10, 2023
The head of the Black Business Council stressed that South Africa has a law that provides for the active involvement and empowerment of those social groups that have previously been excluded from participation in the economy. These people should be given equal opportunities and the right to own shares in companies doing business in South Africa. And it is the same in other African countries.
“And within that context we also have what is called the Africa Free Continental Agreement (the AfCFTA) because that free continental agreement also deals with trading, it deals with harmonization of tariffs within the continent. And I think in South Africa for the past, I would say, 30 years—yes, things are moving on the right direction, although we have not yet reached the final goal in the sense that we’re still forging ahead in terms of achieving a substantial benefit where we can confidently say that majority of the people are now a part of the economy,” said Elias Monage.
The second aspect that needs to be reconsidered is the approach to the industrialisation of South Africa. The third point is to create a single platform that would enable the free movement of people from point A to point B.
“These are some of the issues that we need to address as BRICS nations or communities, to say how then we forge ahead on the movement of people so that we have a better trading environment that supports a better logistics,” he added.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the BRICS Business Council. Elias Monage spoke about the results achieved by the organisation during this period. He noted that some of the main challenges ahead are the creation of a single payment system, promising in terms of financing projects in the BRICS countries: Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa and China, and harmonising the terms of trade between the different regions.