South Africa is ready to tackle any challenges it may confront as it joins the BRICS grouping of influential developing countries, says International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
South Africa may be the new kid, and the smallest kid, on the block at this week's BRICS summit in China, but the country has plenty to offer the grouping as a gateway to Africa with one of the strongest financial sectors in the world, say analysts.
South Africa's ascension to the BRICS grouping is recognition of the country's huge potential and rightly places it alongside the leading economies of tomorrow.
South Africa will attend its first BRICS summit as a full member of the grouping of most influential developing nations when President Jacob Zuma sits down with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China at the third BRICS Leaders Meeting in Sanya, China on 14 April.
Local and international leaders are bullish about the benefits of South Africa's membership of the BRICS group of prominent emerging economies, as the country brings with it connections to hundreds of millions of African consumers.
The forgiving philosophy of "ubuntu" helps explain how South Africa managed to transcend its turbulent apartheid past and create a unified democracy, writes Simon Barber.
South Africa has embarked on a bold new economic growth path in a bid to create 5-million jobs and reduce unemployment from 25% to 15% over the next 10 years.
South Africa has assumed its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, aiming to continue with its efforts to promote and enhance the body's cooperation with regional organisations, particularly the African Union's Peace and Security Council.
By offering to acquire South African retailer Massmart for an estimated US$4.2-billion (R28.5-billion), Wal-Mart has joined the parade of global companies looking to South Africa as a springboard into what is increasingly seen as the world's last great investment frontier.
Living in the UK? Buy a pack of South African plums and stand to win a 12-day tour for two to discover the "Essential South Africa". There are two trips to be won - plus five runner-up prizes of a case of South African wine.