Brand South Africa was established in 2002 with the primary objective of developing and implementing a pro-active and co-ordinated marketing, communication and reputation management strategy for the country.
Speaking at the summit, Brand South Africa CEO, Miller Matola, said that the branding of South Africa is not a matter of choice but rather a necessity. It requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders in the Western Cape to achieve any real measure of success - government, citizens, business, political parties, charities, the media, academia, sporting organisations and the like.
Brand South Africa met with its stakeholders to rally their support on a unified approach to branding SA locally and internationally.
“We are particularly pleased to have shared our active citizenship campaign – Play your Part – with the people of the Western Cape,” said Matola. Play your Part is a campaign encouraging all South Africans – from corporates to individuals, NGOs to government, churches to schools - to contribute to change in South Africa.
“Addressing the guests at the summit, Brand South Africa board member, Mr. Essau Yacoub said that the economy of the province is built on agriculture and tourism.
“So, what we, and South Africa, need is more tourists and more investment. How people see a country is vital in this regard.
He continued to say, it may be a strange thought, but the image of a country, makes a vital contribution in attracting tourists, investors and in building trade relationships. So, again, just what we need, concluded Yacoub.
Speaking at the summit, Mr Solly Fourie, Head of Department for Economic Development & Tourism in the Western Cape explained that as globalisation increases the production and movement of goods, services, investment and talent, perceptions of nations have to be actively managed.
South Africa has just gone through four very important stages: it managed a widely acknowledged successful soccer world cup, came through the world-wide recession almost unscathed, became a part of the BRICS group of nations and held its fourth free and fair local elections since 1994. This has underlined that the country is an important developing nation in its own right.
This has to be marketed to the world.
He said that Brand South Africa met with President Jacob Zuma in May where the discussion centred around the need for business and government at all levels to work together to promote and market the successes of the country domestically and to the world.
In conclusion, Mr. Essau Yacoub, said that the meeting affirmed Brand South Africa’s mandate, which is to focus on strategic issues relating to reputation and competitiveness of South Africa, both domestically and globally. The organisation needs to manage the perceptions of Brand South Africa and co-ordinate nation branding efforts through improved cooperation between itself, business and civil society.