The theme, ‘BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation’, corresponds with South Africa’s approach to Africa. South Africa’s foreign policy narrative on Africa reflects a country in search of a leadership role in Africa. The campaign for BRICS membership was run on a ‘gateway to Africa’ narrative, and South Africa’s BRICS membership seems to derive its legitimacy from this self-imposed ‘leadership’ role on the continent. The summit theme is appropriate, given the increasing levels of BRICS–Africa engagement. It also serves to make the summit a moment of truth for what South Africa can realistically achieve for Africa through its BRICS membership. The policy briefing explores how the BRICS group can best be leveraged to ensure tangible developmental benefits for South Africa and for Africa as a whole.