Economic growth has been vital to sustaining the rise of the five emerging powers on the international stage. They played a pivotal role in enabling developing economies to weather the global financial crisis of 2008-09, with Brazil, Russia, India and China heralded as the main drivers of future growth in the global South.
However, the “big five” are in trouble. China is experiencing its lowest rate of growth — 7% in the second quarter of this year — in 25 years. India has matched China’s growth but has not met expectations. Brazil and Russia are both in recession. SA’s economy is contracting.