Brand South Africa releases results of 2013 Thrive International Investor Perceptions Survey


Johannesburg, Wednesday 2 April 2014 – Brand South Africa today co-hosted with the WITS Business School a special seminar at which the results of the 2013 Thrive International Investor Perceptions Survey was released.

Participants were also briefed on the outcomes of the inaugural South African Competitiveness Forum hosted by Brand South Africa at the end of 2013.

Speakers included Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency CEO, Mr Siphiwe Ngwenya; Group Executive Business Intelligence, Dr Shima Nokaneng; Brand South Africa’s Head of Research Dr Petrus de Kock and Mr Tsholo Mogotsi ofthe City of Johannesburg.

In presenting the outcomes of the 2013 Thrive study, Brand South Africa’s Head of Research Dr Petrus de Kock, articulated why the study matters.  “In an increasingly globalised world, with shrinking borders driving the 24/7 culture enabled by, amongst others, the internet and 24 hour-news programmes, it is crucial for South Africa to understand the way in which we are perceived in both our traditional markets and trading partners, as well as in the markets that are bound to continue driving global growth in coming decades.”

According to the results of the 2013 survey, South Africa competes equitably with other emerging markets in the study – including the continent and BRICS countries.

Some high-level findings from this year’s investor perceptions research indicate that:

  • 87% of respondents have heard of South Africa recently from any source;
  • 61% overall familiarity with South Africa among the sample; and
  • 32% of the respondents are currently investing, or doing business with South Africa.

While the overall findings show a relatively high level of awareness of South Africa as a whole, the research also aims to identify the specific economic sectors associated with South Africa.

The research also asks of respondents to indicate which three countries are the best to do business in or with. South Africa comes 4th in this category with the top three being China, India, and Brazil.

According to respondents, the economic areas for which South Africa is most well-known are:

  • Mining & Quarrying – 64%
  •  Agriculture – 46%
  • Hospitality, hotels, restaurants & tourism – 44%
  • Manufacturing – 36%
  • Construction – 29%
  • Wholesale & retail – 28%
  • Transport – 23%
  • Electricity, gas & water supply – 20%
  • Finance, insurance & real estate – 17%
  • Post & telecommunications – 14%

At the same time, respondents indicate the most attractive features for doing business in South Africa include:

  • Infrastructure;
  • A growing economy; and
  • Low cost of doing business.

Meanwhile, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola briefed participants that Brand South Africa is currently implementing the recommendations of the 2013 inaugural South African Competitiveness Forum including the establishment of a task team to ensure all stakeholders work together for South Africa’s continued competitiveness, economic and social growth as mandated by the country’s National Development Plan.  “It is crucial that we begin to close the executive deficit that presently prevails in our country.  We must implement decisions that will see all stakeholders contribute our desired social and economic growth and development,” said Mr Matola.

Presentations from the representatives of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency and the City of Jo’burg included a brief on the integrated strategy by the province and city to ensure international investors are supported to enable them to maximise their investment while contributing to job creation and economic growth in our country.

This will go a long way towards building perceptions of South Africa as a competitive and reputable investment destination.

At the same presenters expressed the need for greater integration by agencies and stakeholders who are responsible for driving a shared agenda for growth and development in South Africa.  Twenty years after democracy this must be taken to new heights to ensure that the gains in our country are sustained.

The results of the 2013 International Investment Perceptions Survey and the discussions at the seminar indicate that while South Africa has made significant gains in the past 20 years, much more can be done.

You can participate in the conversation on South Africa’s competitiveness and reputation on @Brand_SA #CompetitiveSA.


Note to Editors

For more information on the outcomes of the 2013 Thrive International Perceptions Survey please visit or

Information on the outcomes of the 2013 inaugural South African Competitiveness Forum can also be accessed at or



About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing – because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates to individuals, NGOs to government, churches to schools, young to not so young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

There are numerous opportunities, big and small, for each and every South African to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate. Play Your Part encourages them to act on these opportunities.

The campaign is driven by the Brand South Africa.


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