Team South Africa stands ready to fly the flag

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - KINGSLEY MAKHUBELA @klm­makhubela

THE NEW year was ea­gerly awaited by many South Africans: 2016 had been a chal­leng­ing year. We can be proud of the fact that both our in­sti­tu­tions and peo­ple have emerged stronger and more re­silient than be­fore.

Once again, South African cit­i­zens have demon­strated that we are able to stand to­gether to cre­ate con­di­tions for change. This spirit has been man­i­fest in gov­ern­ment and busi­ness com­ing to­gether to find durable so­lu­tions to our re­sis­tant chal­lenges of poverty, un­em­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity.

Con­sis­tent ef­forts to ad­dress these chal­lenges have seen South Africa re­tain its in­vest­ment rat­ings de­spite ex­pec­ta­tions to the con­trary.

Our Na­tion Brand has also made strides among com­peti­tors and this re­sulted in our im­proved per­for­mance in the an­nual An­holt-GfK Na­tion Brand In­dex re­leased in Novem­ber.

South Africa stands at 35 out 50 coun­tries com­pared to 38 out of 50 coun­tries in 2015. This is an im­por­tant in­dex which tells us how South Africa is per­ceived in a range of ar­eas. The coun­try’s im­prove­ment in this In­dex again tells us that the gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and civil so­ci­ety are col­lec­tively play­ing their part to move our coun­try for­ward.

At the same time, South Africa im­proved in 10 of 12 pil­lars as­sessed in the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness In­dex. This speaks to the con­sis­tent way in which the gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and civil so­ci­ety are work­ing to­gether.

This col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and civil so­ci­ety has gen­er­ated many do­mes­tic suc­cesses for the coun­try:

Our Na­tion Brand rests on each cit­i­zen and on the gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and civil so­ci­ety.

Our achieve­ments, al­beit mod­est in the face of chal­leng­ing global and do­mes­tic head­winds, con­firm we can work to­gether to build a glob­ally com­pet­i­tive coun­try.

We have also demon­strated that we are a na­tion which up­holds the prin­ci­ple of ubuntu. We started 2016 with Op­er­a­tion Hy­drate, which saw mil­lions of litres of water be­ing do­nated to our peo­ple who were af­fected by one of the most se­ri­ous droughts our coun­try has ex­pe­ri­enced. We con­cluded the year with Op­er­a­tion South Africa, which saw mil­lions of rand col­lected for the peo­ple of Syria.

Team South Africa will work hard at Davos this week to po­si­tion the coun­try as a glob­ally com­pet­i­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. We will say to the world we are open for busi­ness, we are re­silient, our democ­racy is ma­tur­ing. We will draw in­spi­ra­tion from the mil­lions of our peo­ple who work to build this global com­pet­i­tive­ness and we will fly the flag proudly.

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