The economic landscape of the world is changing dramatically. The power structure that favoured developed countries is falling away under the effects of the global financial crisis of 2008, the slowdown in the US economy and the debt crisis in Europe. At the same time developing countries are gaining economic ground.
South Africa is among the developing countries taking a more prominent role on the global stage. With China, Brazil, Russia and India it is part of the BRICS alliance, created to give the leading developing countries a stronger position when it comes to taking global action.
But BRICS has its downsides, and South Africa faces many potential pitfalls as well as potential benefits. Will the richer countries in the alliance use their power to control BRICS initiatives? Can the member countries work together effectively when they are also in competition? What can South Africa gain from it?
Renowned commentator and analyst William Gumede gives an incisive and thorough breakdown of what BRICS could mean for South Africa and Africa in general.