William Gumede, a South African journalist, wrote a provocative analysis on 10 April 2013 for Pambazuka News titled "The BRICS and South Africa."
He commented correctly that every BRICS member is in the organization for its own economic, trade and geopolitical interests. There are serious questions as to how South Africa can take advantage of its membership. Gumede argues that South Africa's best strategy is not to rely overly on its BRICS partnership, but to strengthen its relations with other emerging markets such as South Korea, Malaysia and Turkey as well as the western industrial powers.
The analysis does not address the issue whether South Africa's membership is of any value to other nations in Africa or is only designed to benefit Pretoria.