South African coverage of the BRICS has been somewhat slim despite the influential role the bloc is playing in the international sphere. Meanwhile, the question of how South Africa fits in the BRICS puzzle is yet to be solved. The bloc brings together odd friends – a rare mix of democratic governments and centralized ‘beneficent’ authoritarianism. The BRICS bloc could, however, open a new chasm of opportunity for the reconfiguration of international relations. South Africa should seize this opportunity to ensure development works for the people and the environment in the long term.