I argued a few months ago, amid speculation that South Africa would be joining Brazil, Russia, India and China to turn the BRIC group into BRICS, that South Africa did not fit the mould of large economies with large populations, growing rapidly.
Well it turned out that I was wrong. Well, wrong that we wouldn’t join. However, the implicit reasons for us joining were just made explicit. Zuma stated after South Africa’s first meeting with the BRICS group that:
“Although our Brics partners are leading economies in the world, South Africa nevertheless brings unique attributes which complement the Brics mechanism/”
“At a political level, our partners appreciate our unique value system which derives from our history and a particular experience.”
(Quotes above from the News24 article covering Zuma’s view that “Our Bric friends like our politics“.)
It’s a little like the prettiest girl getting picked for the choir, except in this case our BRIC friends want us to open our mouths and sing loudly. I wonder what would happen if our song-sheet changed?