The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (COGTA), is to host a BRICS sectoral meeting focusing on local government and disaster management in East London on 28 June through to the 1st of July this year.
The first meeting in East London, the Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum and the Urbanisation Forum will meet on 28-29 June and the second meeting focusing on disaster management will meet on the 1st of July 2018.
The BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Urbanisation Forum promotes engagement between BRICS states through cities and local bodies. It promotes people to people cooperation amongst BRICS nations and collaboration at the local government level.
The Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Andries Nel, will lead the sectoral meetings which are part of the build-up towards the 10th BRICS Summit to be hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 25-27 July 2018.
The Deputy Minister is taking over leadership of the important meeting from Minister Zweli Mkhize who is to join the Presidentâ€™s World Economic Forum meeting with business in Johannesburg.
The BRICS Forum is a platform to strengthen collaboration between BRICS member states and to enable information-sharing in the local government sector for current and future collaboration.
The local government segment provides platform for connecting BRICS states, cities and local bodies for learning from one another by conversation and cooperation, through linked thematic areas.
â€œThe gathering will assist South Africa to meet several socio-economic development goals. The Forum provides platform to address issues such as managing urban development for inclusive growth. It also provides an opportunity to engage BRICS counterparts on reversing apartheid spatial planning through sharing experiences with BRICS countries,â€ said Deputy Minister Nel.
The Forum will also promote economic social and economic linkages with BRICS partners in infrastructure development which is key for service delivery in municipalities in South Africa, said Deputy Minister Nel.
There are opportunities for strong partnerships in skills development and exchange in building and construction, green building, designing city regeneration schemes, upgrading informal settlements and new city expansion planning. As we initiate recovery programmes to support some of our distressed municipalities, we look forward to lessons from BRICS counterparts on using urban development to overcome poverty and social disadvantage. The BRICS partners also have a lot to learn from South Africa as a new democracy that is still fighting the legacy and backlogs of the past.
The BRICS forum also lends opportunity to involve young people in cities development, youth employment programmes and skills development.
The BRICS forum also provides opportunity to exchange views on urban resilience and disaster risk reductions initiatives. It is an opportunity for sharing strategies on climate change, energy and resilience.
The meetings will culminate in the adoption of two proposed separate Declarations. The intention of the declarations is to re-affirm cooperation among BRICS members within the sector, provide a record of that commitment and to guide further interactions beyond the meetings.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the event as follows:
Dates: 28 June â€“ 01 July 2018
Venue: East London ICC, Buffalo City â€“ Eastern Cape Province
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