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The BRICS partnership is developing rapidly Current global events, such as the economic crisis in the advanced industrialised economies, and hand-wringing over the crisis in Syria, have brought the group, and its individual members, to the forefront of international decision-making. BRICS is no longer simply an economic and historical phenomenon; it is increasingly becoming an actor with agency in the current international milieu. This was most recently evident in the pledge of BRICS – along with other emerging markets – in mid-June 2012, of more than USD 90 billion to boost IMF reserves. This serves as an indicator both of these states’ ability to affect international outcomes, and their intentions to do so.
However, serious questions need to be asked about the extent to which BRICS can agree on common positions, and claim its agency in international affairs. With each successive summit, the BRICS states have enunciated additional plans for future action, as well as core areas of interest and areas of commonality. The objectives of this policy brief are to examine the concept of ‘South-South cooperation’ in relation to BRICS; to analyse South Africa’s role within BRICS; and to situate Africa within the context of BRICS’ growing global significance and activity.
Between 2006 and 2010, South Africa received an estimated R 200 million (US$ 22 million) from various Western governments and agencies through the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) Yet about one fifth of the total sum of this Development Fund came from the government of South Africa itself. This scenario problematizes South Africa‟s dual identity. On the one hand South Africa receives finance from internationa l development institutions as well as bilateral donor countries of the West, but it is also increasingly providing international development assistance.
The so - called "emerging donors" such as India, China and Brazil, contest the West‟s monopoly on "aid" with their more flexible approach, which is less inclined to attach prescriptive normative conditionality to aid. These countries are re - shaping the international "developmental assistance" framework evident in the multilateral negotiation process such a s the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
South Africa‟s desire to play a greater role in supporting international development is apparent in the foreign policy rhetoric about development and the decision to transform the African Ren aissance Fund (ARF) into the South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA), which will oversee South Africa‟s developmental assistance programme.