South Africa ranks 2/115 in the 2017 OBS

Johannesburg, Tuesday 27 March 2018 –  Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s Performance in the 2017 Open Budget Survey (OBS) Index. South Africa ranks 2 out of 115 nations, making the country the second most transparent system after New Zealand,
and leading Sweden and Norway that rank at 3rd and 4th respectively.
 
The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only comparative and independent assessment of fiscal transparency, oversight, and participation at the national level. The survey is carried out by independent researchers who respond to a set of factual questions
in each of the 115 countries assessed. Each country’s results are then reviewed by an anonymous expert, and governments are also given an opportunity to provide their comments.
 
The survey examines formal participation in the budget process at the national level. The 2017 OBS also assessed the core institutions of representative democracies by evaluating novel approaches to formal public participation in budgeting.
 
Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela said: “Transparency is an important aspect of good governance, and transparent decision making is critical for the public sector to make sound decisions and investments, while also attracting
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
 
Transparency creates an environment  for effective decision-making. The most frequently cited argument for transparency is  information should be accessible to enable citizens to actively participate in policymaking and hold leaders accountable for their
decisions, and ultimately influence which decisions are taken and why. At a more basic level, transparency is critical for  decision-makers, as it assists them to formulate policy, improve service provision, and manage resources responsibly.”
 
The OBS 2017 report states that ‘Sub-Saharan Africa showed the largest decline in transparency in this round, yet the region drove much of the improvement in transparency in the 2015 survey.’ It  also notes that ‘this recent decline in transparency
overall is significantly less than the gains found in previous rounds of the survey; which means that  government budgets are still considerably more transparent today than they were a decade ago.’
 
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Notes to the Editor
 
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans,
in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
 
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing.
A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.
 
Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute
to a better future for all.