Media Alert: What will South Africa Bring to the Third Annual BRICS Summit – 14 April 2011

Image: Flickr, GovernmentZA
Image: Flickr, GovernmentZA

Tomorrow, 14 April 2011, South Africa will join four of the world’s foremost emerging economies in Sanya on China’s tropical island of Hainan.

Much has been made of Africa’s only representative at the table of the BRICS grouping that includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, and, since late last year South Africa.

The BRICS is seen as a “club” that may act as a smaller caucus within the broader G20 group of countries with the clout to push for greater reform of the global economic system. Last year, the original BRIC group was instrumental mobilising for some changes at the Bretton Woods institutions, specifically on the issue of SDR or Standard Drawing Rights. But many question what South Africa’s role will be as one of the biggest African economies and one of the loudest voices for the continent’s economic development. While South Africa has often been called “the gateway” to the African continent, its fellow BRICS members are also competitors for the many economic and developmental opportunities on the continent. Within the BRICS group itself a number of diverse interests have emerged and the coherence of the grouping is still in doubt.

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has been following the developments and issues around the BRICS. We have been speaking and listening to policy makers in various governments on the political and economic dynamics of the BRICS grouping. SAIIA has a number of resources available to the media and diplomatic members.

SAIIA Resources and Commentary on the BRICS:

SAIIA Web feature: South Africa, Africa and the BRICS: The apex of the South? By Chris Alden and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, 13 April 2011.

Perspectives on the BRICS: Lessons for South Africa – A report by SAIIA’s National Director, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, on a SAIIA seminar held in March 2011.

Marketplace Morning Report: South Africa joins the BRICS – Listen to an interview with Elizabeth Sidiropoulos and journalist Gretchen Wilson, April 2011.

South has much to offer despite its size – SAIIA senior research fellow Peter Draper is quoted in this article by Engineering News, April 2011.

BRIC and IBSA Forums: Neo-Liberals in Disguise or Champions of the South? – A SAIIA Policy Briefing by Joseph Senona, September 2010.

South Africa and BRICs: A Crisis of Identity in Foreign Relations – by SAIIA research associate Mills Soko and SAIIA former programme head Mzukisi Qobo as printed in the Sunday Independent, January 2011.

Geography Tips the Scales – SAIIA senior research fellow Peter Draper is quoted in this article by The Financial Mail, January 2011.

The BRICs Pitfalls and South Africa’s Place in the World – by former SAIIA programme head Mzukisi Qobo, April 2010.

Related Resources:

India and South Africa as Development Partners for Development in Africa? – A report by Elizabeth Sidiropoulos for Chatham House, March 2011.

South Africa-China Relations: Getting Beyond the Crossroads – By SAIIA National Director Elizabeth Sidiropoulos and China in Africa researcher Ana Cristina Alves, August 2010.

Media Commentary: Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Chris Alden and Peter Draper are available to the media for interviews on developments at the BRICS summit. Please contact SAIIA Communications Manager, Chevon Erasmus Porter on +27 (0) 11 339 2021 ext. 123 or +27 (0) 82 820 8036 or email

Issued by: The South African Institute of International Affairs