Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s rankings in the 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), and the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index

Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes South Africa’s performance in the 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (EDB) which sees the country’s ranking at 82nd out of 190 economies.

The World Bank notes two areas of improvement in the EDB 2018, being: South Africa has made starting a business easier by reducing the time for online business registration, and the country improved the monitoring of electricity outages through recording data to monitor outages better.

Commenting on the EDB results, Dr Petrus de Kock, the General Manager for Research for Brand South Africa said: “In terms of statistical score there is a marginal improvement of +1.37 points. While South Africa retains its over-all ranking at 82/190 this year, it is notable that there are some improvements in the following pillars of the index, being: starting a business – improve with two positions from 136 to 134; registering property – improve with one position from 107 to 106; trading across borders – improve with four positions from 147 to 143; getting electricity – improve with three positions from 112 to 109; and protecting minority investors – improve with one position from 24 to 23.”

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report is an indicator of the ease of doing business in various economies around the world. Released in October 2018, this year’s report presents data for 190 economies and aggregates information from ten areas of business regulation (such as starting a business, getting credit and enforcing contracts), to develop an overall ease of doing business ranking for each economy.

This week also sees the release of the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), with the report showing that South Africa has fallen from 6th to 7th position. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual measure of governance efficiency of African countries. The report covers 54 countries and base its analysis on 100 indicators that are drawn from 36 independent sources which together fall into 4 broad thematic categories: Safety & Rule of Law; Participation & Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development.

“The strongest areas of performance for the country are in the Participation & Human Rights (4/54), as well as Sustainable Economic Opportunity (4/54) indicators. In the African – and Emerging Market contexts, governance plays a critical role in shaping the reputation of nations. It is for this reason that the IIAG provides critical insights regarding the profile of the South African Nation Brand.

“Results contained in the IIAG 2018 is a cause for concern for the South African Nation Brand. And the implication is that urgent interventions are needed to turn the negative trends around, based on a robust existing governance regime in the context of a constitutional democracy,” adds Dr de Kock.

Brand South Africa also noted South Africa’s declined performance in the 2018-2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (WEF GCI). South Africa now ranks 61 out of 140 economies assessed in the annual survey. Dr de Kock explains that the WEF GCI 2018 presents a revised methodology to measure national competitiveness, and productivity in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

De Kock said: “In a major step change from its long established methodology that underpins the GCI, the 2018 edition of the index introduces a range of new concepts and attributes geared to measuring competitiveness, and ultimately productivity, to respond to the challenges of the time.  Being agile and capable to adapt to technological change and innovation, is critical to productivity and survival in a period of rapid change.

“Of the original 98 indicators that informed the GCI, 34 have been retained, and 64 new indicators introduced. And based on the new WEF GCI methodology it is clear that South Africa still ranks extremely well in terms of: Market size, Finance System, and Innovation Capability.”

South Africa’s national strengths can be found in the Finance System ranking 18th, it’s Market Size at 35th, with strong performance in Business Dynamics at 56th, the Labour Market at 55th (which looks much more promising than rankings achieved through the previous methodology), with a relatively good ranking for Economic Stability at 57th.  In the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution it is notable that South Africa ranks 46th for Innovation Capability.