by Steuart Pennington
In this newsletter I will do two things:
First, I will track our improvements and our slippages over the past five years;
Second, I will compare how we do against other developing economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC).
The World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) is produced by the Swiss business school, IMD, (as opposed to the Global Competitiveness Report, (GCR) produced by the World Economic Forum). It ranks 59 countries in terms of their relative competitiveness – that is, how effectively each nation’s economic environment creates and sustains commercial enterprises. SA is ranked at 50th, up from 52nd in 2011. It is based on an Executive Opinion survey of 4000 participants across the 59 countries, or +/- 65 execs in each country. The results are therefore based on perception. We all know that perception is reality . No doubt the executives surveyed knew much more about Greece’s (58th) national debt crisis – more so than they did of Ireland (20th), Spain (39th), Italy (40th) and Portugal (41st)!
The perennial problem with perceptions
Clearly the perceptions of executives in one country will differ from those in other countries based on their experience, the country’s history, political leadership, the media and the issues of the day. As a consequence there are some significant differences between the findings of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), based on perception, and the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), based on measurement. A good example of this is physical (basic) infrastructure – in the WCY we rank 55/59, in the GCR we rank 41/142.
A South African matric pupil has won first prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, in the United States, Beeld newspaper reported on Thursday.
South Africa has won praise for hosting yet another successful international sporting event, with International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset hailing the IRB Junior World Championship that ended in Cape Town last Friday as a huge success .
For the first time in the world, a nation will define its own formula and will be able to measure its progress against the wishes of its citizens. Brand South Africa, the nation’s marketing arm, together with the Department of Arts and Culture, who are custodians of our national symbols, social cohesion and nation building, and Bluprints have undertaken to discover the Formula for a South African – a recipe for how we should, and should not behave.
The strawberry farming initiative at Corobrik’s Rietvlei factory near Pretoria is bearing fruit – the latest achievements not only include a successful harvest that regularly makes its way to leading retailers but also the formation of a trust that will give members of the local community who are working on the farm an opportunity to share in the profits.
The development bank planned by members of the BRICS group of influential emerging economies could help South Africa finance its state-led infrastructure drive, says Business Unity SA CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni.
Help2read, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), focusing on literacy in primary schools in Gauteng and the Western Cape has recently expanded its Gauteng network to Soweto. Two schools namely Emzimvubu Primary in Diepkloof and Shomang Primary in Orlando West will now start benefiting from this volunteer literacy programme.
There has been a general decrease in crime levels for the period January to March 2012 when compared to the previous quarter, says Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.
South Africa’s emerging and commercial farmers will benefit from financial assistance after the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a R1-billion line of credit to the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa last week.
Hosts South Africa have finally ended New Zealand’s dominance of the IRB Junior World Championship after second half tries from scrum half Vian van der Watt and centre Jan Serfontein secured a 22-16 win to the delight of a sold-out Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Friday.