South Africa sought BRIC membership since 2009 and the process for formal admission began as early as August 2010.  South Africa was officially admitted as a BRIC nation on December 24, 2010, after being invited by China and the other BRIC countries to join the group.  The capital "S" in BRICS stands for South Africa. President Jacob Zuma attend the BRICS summit in Sanya in April 2011 as a full member. South Africa stands at a unique position to influence African economic growth and investment. According to Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs who originally coined the term, Africa's combined current gross domestic product is reasonably similar to that of Brazil and Russia, and slightly above that of India.  South Africa is a "gateway" to Southern Africa and Africa in general as the most developed African country.  China is South Africa's largest trading partner, and India wants to increase commercial ties with Africa.  South Africa is also Africa's largest economy, but as number 31 in global GDP economies it is far behind its new partners. 
Where opinion ends and knowledge begins can be a fuzzy boundary. My perspective is that there is a meaningful distinction between supernatural and natural explanations (altough again, there is a fuzzy boundary problem), our successfully tested modern knowledge about how our universe functions rests exclusively on naturalism as both the type of methods utilized to acquire that knowledge and the type of conclusions reached, and this is powerful evidence that we live in an exclusively universe. Lots of scientists are theists and I conclude that this is because theism is psychologically compelling, not because they have a compelling counter-argument for abandoning supernaturalism in the workplace. I concede that our evidence is necessarily limited in time and place and even that the evidence we have could be misleading. Yet I think the evidence for naturalism over supernaturalism has been so persistent and consistent that the probability that new evidence in the future will change the overall best fit conclusion to favor supernaturalism is small. Given that total, perfect, absolutely knowledge is impossible, and given the successful track record of following the empirical evidence, it seems to me that the evidence we already have is sufficient to be confident that metaphysical naturalism is true, and I think everyone today should be an atheist. I am committed to an empirical evidence based approach to reaching conclusions about how the universe functions, and I am convinced that naturalism is indisputably the best fit conclusion.