At the end of June 2015, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene announced that the Cabinet had endorsed the nomination of Leslie Maasdorp as vice-president of the New Development Bank BRICS.
The New Development Bank BRICS is development bank operated by BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as an alternative to the existing US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The Bank has been set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
The NDB will be headquartered in Shanghai, China. Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.
The job requires Maasdorp to move to Shanghai, China Africa Melane spoke to him ahead of his relocation, about what his expectations of the bank and his new position are.
BRICS have existed for a number of years but the formation of this bank is a concrete, physical embodiment of this desire by these 5 countries to enhance trade and investment co-operation amongst themselves. So essentialy what the bank is - each of the 5 countries has contriubuted $10 billion, so we have an initial capital base of $50 billion ... It's a pretty significant institution in the sense that South Africa as the smallest economy in that club now has access to a very big pool of capital to fund some of our infrastructure needs.— Leslie Maasdorp, VP of New Development Bank BRICS
Maasdorp carries on to explain how in the context of South Africa's economy at present, the infrastructure investment opportunities that will come out of this initiative will benefit the country as a whole.
Listen to Africa's conversation with Maasdorp below: