Corruption, crime hit SA's competiveness rankings
South Africa has dropped 14 positions in the global competitiveness rankings.
JOHANNESBURG - Corruption, crime and government instability have been cited by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the top three reasons for South Africa dropping 14 positions in the overall global competitiveness rankings this year.
The WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 states that while South Africa remains one of the most competitive countries in sub-Saharan Africa - at 61st out of 137 countries - it has dropped 14 positions in the overall rankings this year.
The report states that South Africa’s economy is nearly at a standstill, with GDP growth forecast at just 1.0% in 2017 and 1.2% in 2018, with it hit by persistently low international demand for its commodities, while its unemployment rate is currently estimated above 25% and rising.
Political uncertainty in 2017 has also decreased the confidence of South African business leaders.
Although still relatively good in the African context, the country’s institutional environment (76th), financial markets (44th), and goods market efficiency (54th) are all rated as weaker than last year.
Brand South Africa says it has noted with concern South Africa’s declined performance.
"Following on two years where the country made strong progress in the global competitiveness rankings, this year’s results are a wake-up call to the nation."
Brand South Africa CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela says as a nation, there are several lessons to take from the WEF report indicators.
"As an open and transparent democratic system, leaders and public officials have to work much harder on maintaining high ethical standards in their conduct especially as it pertains to the fight against corruption and wastefulness in the public sector. Having said that, the private sector – especially in the financial sector, should pay attention to the drop in performance in the sector’s competitiveness,” says Makhubela.
In terms of the global picture, the report states that 10 years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on the part of leaders and policy-makers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity.