n Latin American Report - South Africa's participation in BRICS and its significance for the country's economic development




December 2010 was an exciting month for South Africa with its admission to the forum constituted by Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) as the biggest emerging economies outside the developed world. BRIC then became BRICS with 'S' representing South Africa. South Africa's admission to BRICS was an unprecedented development that helped to strengthen its position at an international level. While the government and some stakeholders were delighted and welcomed South Africa's admission to the forum as an opportunity for economic growth for both South Africa and the rest of the continent, others were rather critical. The president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCL), Julius Malema, was among those who considered South Africa's admission to the forum a shocking move. They argued that South Africa's participation in BRICS was detrimental to South Africa's economy and African economic renaissance, with South Africa becoming more vulnerable to other BRICS nations. The debate continues as to whether or not South Africa's participation was a good thing for the South African economy and Africa's economic recovery. Against this background, this paper briefly reflects on BRICS, South Africa's participation and what it means for economic growth and the development of South Africa and the African continent it represents.


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