Team South Africa stands ready to fly the flag
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.