Sustainability of resilient South African nation brand depends on socially cohesive communities

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Johannesburg, Thursday 18 August 2016 – In preparation of the inaugural Nation Brand Forum on Wednesday 24 August 2016, Brand South Africa hosted a research reference group yesterday that looked into the issue of social cohesion. The reference group looked at whether South Africa is asking the right questions when it comes to the analysis and measurement of social cohesion in South Africa.

The reference group comes within the context of Brand South Africa’s mandate to promote social cohesion and nation building. International best practice indicates that a resilient nation brand is anchored on a socially cohesive citizenry.

Social cohesion is, amongst others, premised on active citizenship, where community members and citizens work together for the attainment of shared goals, designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.

Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “Unfortunately challenges of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and historical divisions around race, class and gender make it difficult to arrive at a socially cohesive and united society as fast as we would want to. Through such reference groups, we aim to map out ways on how to recreate these challenges in moving us towards an ideal socially cohesive society.”

Dr de Kock made reference to the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), and indicated how these articulate in one way or another ways for the nation to deal with the question of Social Cohesion.

He added: “Transformation of the South African society, economy, identity, education, and interactions with our immediate region and the world, are all in one way or another aimed at human development, and greater social cohesion – and this is outlined in the NDP.

“The process of building nation brands, including brand South Africa, requires a consistent and coordinated efforts, which is heavily reliant on nation building. Nation-building in the context of South Africa, calls for a rethinking, on what social cohesion, linked to nation building, should be. It is premised on these reasons that we are interrogating the concept of social cohesion. Inputs, suggestions and actions recommended by participants at today’s research reference group will inform planning for the Nation Brand Forum scheduled for 24 August 2016.

Dr de Kock concluded: “The reputation of a country, nation, or nation brand is shaped by a multitude of factors. Importantly, a reputation is not a fixed once off outcome of an action, or set of actions. It is a continuous process that needs to be refined based on the challenges and opportunities presented for the nation.”

Media are invited to participate in the inaugural Nation Brand Forum as follows:

Date: Wednesday 24 August 2016
Time: 08h30 – 15h00
Venue: The Maslow Hotel
46 Rivonia Rd, Sandton, 2146
RSVPS/Enquiries: Tsabeng Nthite
Email tsabengn@brandsouthafrica.com
Mobile number 076 371 6810

Brand South Africa will also be able to facilitate any requests for interviews.

Follow the conversation on #SANationBrand