Over the past few weeks, I have been interacting with the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, other key leaders in government and captains of industry ahead of the BRICS KwaZulu-Natal Trade and Investment Seminar.

Organised by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition – as well as Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal, the seminar will take place tomorrow – 17 August, at Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani, 63 Snell Parade, Durban. 

It will culminate into a tour of the Durban Port, Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone – on Friday 18 August.

As the executive authority responsible for this important portfolio, I wish to welcome delegates from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

I have been informed that there are delegates from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries who have expressed an interest to be part of the seminar.

We reiterate our determination to take advantage of opportunities offered by being part of BRICS. 

Having hosted the BRICS Summit in 2013 and BRICS Business Council from the 22nd to 23rd July 2018, we understand that this bloc is an organization established to safeguard the interests of the so-called developing nations.

Through our entities Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal, Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay Industry Development Zone, we have developed a programme that will ensure that we present to the potential investors key areas that should be considered for investment. 

Our view is that as KZN we cannot prosper in isolation. We want to state unequivocally that our long-term success lies in the integration of our economy with economies of the countries in the BRICS bloc.

We regard this BRICS KZN Trade and Investment Seminar as a platform on which synergies between the economy of KZN and economies of member nations will be strengthened. 

Through TIKZN we have therefore arranged KZN based companies and our own emerging entrepreneurs to be part of the seminar. 

We have emerging entrepreneurs from KZN who will showcase their products in the exhibition alongside the seminar.

We want our entrepreneurs to establish links with their foreign counterparts and to find buyers for their products in countries in the BRICS bloc.

The visit to RBIDZ must be viewed within the context of our commitment to direct potential investors to all corners of the province such as rural and township areas.

Regarding township economy, we are interested to host our very own Township Economy in BRICS Dialogue in the future in partnership with the Township Economic Commission of South Africa (TECSA) and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) BRICS Directorate.

We echo the words of the Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), Maropene Ramokgopa, who pointed out recently that BRICS member countries have the capacity to leverage the combined resources, experiences and expertise to support each other in nurturing vibrant township economies.  

By and large, we are in support of the suggestion that joint ventures, investment partnerships, and knowledge-sharing initiatives can bring a transformative impact in the townships and rural areas. 

We want ordinary members of society in this province to feel the impact of being part of the BRICS bloc.


Siboniso Duma is the KZN’s Leader of Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs

For media enquiries, contact the following: 

  1. Ndabezinhle Sibiya

Spokesperson: Leader Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs

082 375 4742

2. Manqoba Mbatha

General Manager: Marketing and Communications | Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal

079 887 1227

3. Vincent Zwane 

Manager: Marketing and Communications | Dube Trade Port

061 128 1759

4. Choice Sihiya 

Manager: Communications and Stakeholder Relations | Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone

084 207 5823