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Brand SA: ‘Overall, we end the year on a good note’

But government is tarnishing the brand.

It’s not all doom and gloom in South Africa. The Springboks, comedian Trevor Noah, rapper Sho Madjozi, and newly-crowned Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi are among those who have shown the country in a good, if not brilliant, light on the global stage this year.

According to Dr Petrus de Kock, GM of research at Brand SA, the “brand performance” of a country is anchored by perspectives on governance in global, corporate and political terms.

“The national brand’s global and domestic reputation is to a large extent shaped by perceptions of efficient internal governance, while [its] contribution to global governance has a direct bearing on international perceptions,” De Kock says.

Individual wins in perspective

He adds that victories such as winning the Rugby World Cup and Miss Universe titles get South Africa onto the lips of people in other countries and creates well-deserved respect, but this doesn’t necessarily translate into economic growth for the country.

De Kock says South Africans are not just endowed with talent in the field of arts and culture, but have proven exceptionally innovative when it comes to the fourth industrial revolution, and have exceeded expectations with regards to 3D printing capabilities.

“This year we had the first-ever in the world 3D-printed [prosthesis] in an ear transplant that was innovated here in South Africa,” he says, adding that this illustrates that investments in corporate, business and state tertiary research and development make the country incredibly competitive.

SA’s strengths

Based on the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index (GCI) methodology, South Africa still ranks extremely well in terms of market size, finance system, and innovation capability.

De Kock points out that SA ranks in the top 40 in innovation capability, the top 30 for innovation, science and technology, and is one of the top 10 globally for 3D technology capability.

Brand SA uses these positive indicators of SA in its drive to position the country internationally.  

Below are some of the indicators he speaks of:

Source: Brand SA

Source: Brand SA

Governance

However, if you live in South Africa and not under a rock, you can’t miss that the government is doing a lot of damage to the SA brand that ordinary citizens are working towards building.

In the Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2018, South Africa dropped in rankings.

The ranking focuses on sustainable economic opportunity, safety and rule of law, participation and human rights as well as human development.

“We have seen on the governance front in the government index that [as] South Africa we have dropped down from number six to seven in the 54 countries on the continent and that has been around perceptions on production and corruption – there is no doubt about that,” says De Kock.

On the upside, South Africa is ranked third in the Good Country Index for its contribution to peace and security. “That [indicates] a tremendous amount of contribution that we make to peace and security on the continent,” says De Kock.

He adds that SA went up seven positions in the GCI. “So we are not exiting 2019 on a bad note.”

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Thanks for that… best laugh I’ve had all week! I wonder what tourists to S. Africa will make of not having power for four-and-a-half hours running, twice a day. Bet that’ll do wonders for our ‘brand’! Who pays this chucklehead’s salary?

It seems like a desperate attempt to be positive, but that is Brand SA’s mandate. I agree we need to celebrate small victories, but don’t conveniently ignore load shedding, Eskom, SAA, government debt, poor corporate governance in all state entities and governance structures and Ace Magashule still pulling the strings at the ANC. But indeed, it is really good for SA that our Boks brought back the trophy and our fairest is the fairest in the world. It will make a big difference in all our lives.

Brand SA’s mandate is to attract tourism and investment to this country. I can GUARANTEE you that no tourist wants their very expensive holiday screwed up by this bizarre phenomenon known as ‘load shedding’. Tourists today fully expect that everything works 100% or they will take their dollars/euros etc elsewhere. Not to mention no business will touch this country with a bargepole when the number ONE consideration for starting a business is a reliable electricity supply. Feel-good factors like winning the World Cup simply dont cut the mustard in the real world!

You’re kidding right? Spare the PR garbage. Send the world cup trophy somewhere else, Trevor can stay where he is. Good riddance. “we end the year on a good note” You wish! This load shedding crap over rules all your feel good pat yourselves on the back nonsense. I think South Africa fails to see the future destructive force of ESKOM’s failure and the future effects on this country. Too many people with rose tinted glasses or just plain delusional.

We run a small self catering. Last night guests from Chile checked in at about 8.30pm. First question they asked, why are there no lights in the streets? Most houses are dark, who lives here?

Perhaps we can market loadshedding as a uniquely South African experience akin to let’s say going up the Eiffel Tower or a visit to the Sistine Chapel? As an added bonus you can have your wallet and phone stolen as part of the package or you can upgrade to include a viewing of a school or a library being burned down. African solution to an African problem…

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