About 40 countries have shown an interest in joining the bloc and leaders at the meeting in SA will discuss criteria for new membership and the necessary financial contributions.
When BRICS leaders meet in South Africa on Tuesday, 22 August, high on the agenda will be finding ways to accelerate the use of their countries' currencies for trade and finance to rely less on the US dollar.
South Africa's BRICS emissary, Professor Anil Sooklal, is emphatic that there are no plans by the five member countries to embrace "de-dollarisation", which would involve unseating the dollar as the world's de facto global currency.
"Replacing the US dollar has never been on the table. We have been talking about deepening trade and interaction among the BRICS local currencies. The dollar will continue to be a major global currency -- and that's a reality," Sooklal told Daily Maverick.
South Africa will host officials from Brazil, Russia, India and China -- the group of five nations known as BRICS -- for a summit from 22 to 24 August. Present will be China's President Xi Jinping, Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, for whom an international arrest warrant has been issued for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, will not attend.
The BRICS members want to find more ways to conduct trade and financial transactions...