South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is in India this week as the chief guest on Republic Day, and Prime Minister Modi both have elections on their minds, but the considerable diplomatic stakes in the bilateral relationship warrant his visit at this time
The governments of India and South Africa are eager to reinvigorate their relationship after it suffered damage in the latter half of Jacob Zuma’s presidency. The current president has spoken of a ‘new dawn’ for his country, driven by economic advancement. In that, India can play a big role
Internal political constraints dog it currently, but if overcome, South Africa can be a good chairman to BRICS and IORA in 2018. It also has a tough balancing act to perform between two great Asian powers, China and India
The fifth BRICS summit will take place from 26-27 March with South Africa - a late entrant to the grouping - playing host. Although sceptics have questioned the salience of this bloc, the group is essentially a work in progress. Expectations, therefore, must be modest and pragmatic.