Brazil–South Africa relations have traditionally been close. Brazil has provided military assistance to South Africa in the form of warfare training and logistics. Bilateral relations between the countries have recently increased, as a result of Brazil's new South-South foreign policy aimed to strengthen integration between the major powers of the developing world.
South Africa is part of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, alongside Brazil and India.
During the latter years of the apartheid era, South African companies made several investments in Brazil. However, while Brazil developed relations with the former Portuguese colonies of Africa, it didn't cultivate a strong relationship with the apartheid-era government, and instead developed ties with the allies of such anti-apartheid organizations such as ANC and SWAPO.
After South Africa held its first multiracial elections in 1994, president Fernando Henrique Cardoso became the first Brazilian head of state to visit South Africa in 1996. Relations developed quickly between the two countries, especially after the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as president in 2002. Lula's government has developed strong ties with Thabo Mbeki's government in South Africa, particular in the areas of AIDS/HIV, fair trade, reform in the United Nations Security Council, land reform, and other socio-economic issues. Relations got a further boost with the creation of the IBSA Dialogue Forum. The second forum was held in South Africa, while the first and fourth summit were in Brazil.