South Africa’s reputation improves

27 September 2013

South Africa’s reputation in the eyes of consumers from the G8 countries has improved since January after taking a knock following last year’s Marikana tragedy, according to the latest survey by the Reputation Institute.

The institute’s RepTrak study surveys more than 27 000 people from world’s eight most industrialised nations – Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Russia, the UK and the US – to provide a measure of the reputation of 50 countries, including three from Africa: South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.

According to the latest RepTrak report, released on Thursday, South Africa’s reputation dropped in January, from 47.56 to 46.78 points out of 100, but increased to 51.24 in September, the South African Press Association (Sapa) reports.

According to Sapa, Reputation Institute country manager Trevor Ndlazi, speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg, said the drop could have been influenced by the strike-related violence at Marikana in August 2012 and the arrest of Oscar Pistorius for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February.

Nladzi noted that South Africans, in the same survey, rated their own country 17.55 points lower than their G8 counterparts, at 33.69.

“We are perceived very negatively by ourselves,” he said, adding that South Africans “would do well to gain a wider and more positive perspective on the overall state of the country as seen by the outside world”.

According to Business Day, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola told the briefing that it was a country’s actions that ultimately informed how it was perceived in the global marketplace.

Accordingly, Matola said, South Africa’s reputation would be defined by the actions it took to improve socio-economically. He cited the National Development Plan (NDP), the response to the Marikana tragedy, and the country’s infrastructure drive, as examples of actions that signalled “a country that’s on the move, a democracy at work”.

SAinfo reporter