Coming together to be competitive



Brand South Africa convenes high level forum to develop integrated approach to building South Africa’s competitiveness

Johannesburg, Monday 21 October 2013 –To build confidence in our future and realise the vision of our National Development Plan, we need to position South Africa as a dynamic competitor in the global marketplace.

Competitive companies not only offer great products and services, they brand and market their offerings competitively.

How do we do that as a country?

What do we need to do make the nation’s logo a symbol as potently positive in the responses it generates of as, say, Apple’s Apple?

What are the sources of South Africa’s competitiveness? Where do we have a competitive edge? What stands in the way of our reaching our full potential?

To what extent are we being held back by negative perceptions, to what extent by negative realities?

What can we fix with better marketing and reputation management? What can only be fixed with better policies, implementation and delivery? What are the roles of government, the private sector, civil society and media?

To consider these questions and help build consensus around answers, Brand South Africa is convening the first ever SA Competitiveness Forum.

The Forum will bring together leaders from all sectors of society who collectively help determine our place in global minds and markets and our ranking in influential global indices.

Participants will look at how South Africa stacks up against the world under five themes and consider what needs to be done to raise the nation’s game, both from a delivery and a perceptions perspective.

The five themes are:

  • Education skills and labour
  • Manufacturing and related industry
  • Governance and leadership
  • Infrastructure
  • FDI attractiveness

The Forum will also look at how the talent, skills, knowledge and influence of South Africa’s diaspora, which Brand SA is working to connect and mobilise through its Global South Africans initiative, can be harnessed in support of the country’s value proposition.

From the discussions will flow a better understanding, backed by specific recommendations and action items, of how all South Africans, at every level can play a part in making our country a truly competitive nation brand.

Partners in this inaugural Brand South Africa initiative include: Deloitte, the International Women’s Forum (SA), the Reputation Institute, Manufacturing Circle, the Department of Trade and Industry, Proudly South Africa, the National Planning Commission, WITS Business School and PMR Africa.

Citizens wishing to attend this conference should register online at:  Only 200 citizens will have the opportunity to be part of this historic Conference that will be a watershed in our country’s growth path.

Note to Editors

International Women’s Forum (SA)
The International Women’s Forum (IWF) is a global organisation of preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement who come together across national and international boundaries to share knowledge and ideas, enrich lives, provide a network of support and exert influence. Through its Leadership Foundation, the IWF helps prepare future generations of women leaders. With forums throughout North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the IWF facilitates networking among women of achievement and promotes opportunities for women in leadership. Founded in 1982 in the United States, the IWF has grown across five continents into 26 nations and 60 affiliated forum locations and currently has a membership of over 5 000 women leaders.  The International Women’s Forum of South Africa (IWFSA) was established in 2000. IWFSA currently has some 70 members drawn from government, business, the sciences, the arts and numerous other areas.

Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute is a leading reputation-based advisory firm, founded in 1997.  The most prominent management tool is the RepTrak model for analysing the reputations of companies and institutions – best known via the Forbes-published Global RepTrak 100, the world’s largest study of corporate reputations.


Under the Deloitte brand, around 200,000 professionals in independent firms globally, collaborate to provide audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax services to selected clients. Deloitte is one of Africa’s leading professional services firms. It provides these services through nearly 3,800 people in 9 offices in South Africa and 17 cities in Southern Africa. Deloitte is the South African member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte aims to drive economic growth, capitalise on business opportunities and respond productively to challenges. Through its business, it supports the creation of a sustainable and prosperous society.

Manufacturing Circle

The Manufacturing Circle was formed in 2008. It interacts with government and other stakeholders in order to review, debate and help formulate policies which will have a positive impact on South Africa’s manufacturing base. The Manufacturing Circle is made up of a number of South Africa’s leading medium to large manufacturing companies from a wide range of industries. Some of the members are leading South African exporters of manufactured goods to markets around the globe, others are locally based and locally focused companies competing with the best in the world. There is one common denominator among them and that is a passion for manufacturing, coupled with a fervent belief that for South Africa to be economically strong, its manufacturing sector must be strong. A strong and developing manufacturing sector will drive the creation of skilled and semi-skilled jobs in the South African economy.

Department of Trade and Industry

The Department of Trade and Industry is headed by Minister Rob Davies. The Department aims to facilitate transformation of the economy to promote industrial development, investment, competitiveness and employment creation.

Proudly South African

First conceived at the Presidential Job Summit in 1998, the Proudly South African Campaign was born out of socio-economic necessity to create jobs, under the leadership of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Through the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), the Proudly South African Campaign was launched in 2001 and supported by Government, Organised Business (BUSA), Organised Labour and Organised Community.
The Proudly South African “buy local” campaign encourages the nation to buy local products and make use of local services, in an effort to stimulate the local economy and help create jobs. Proudly SA also promotes national pride, patriotism and social cohesion. When consumers buy locally produced products and support local service providers, the local economy is stimulated and sustainable job opportunities are created. By supporting local producers and manufacturers (by buying goods which carry the Proudly South African logo or a ‘Made in South Africa’ label) each and every South African can contribute towards creating a bigger demand for home grown products and services; stimulating South Africa’s economic growth; helping to prevent job losses and helping to create job opportunities.

National Planning Commission

The National Planning Commission is chaired by the Minister in the Presidency for National Planning, Trevor Manuel. The NPC is responsible for developing a long-term vision and strategic plan for South Africa. It will also advise on cross-cutting issues that impact on South Africa’s long-term development. The NPC’s mandate is to take a broad, cross-cutting, independent and critical view of SA, to help define the country we seek to achieve by 2030 and to map out a path to achieve those objectives. The Commission has produced the National Development Plan, which is the blueprint for a successful South Africa. The establishment of the NPC is government’s promise to its citizens that it is building a state that will grow the economy, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of all citizens.

PMR Africa

PMR Africa offers consulting, research and risk management services. The PMR Africa national survey measures ‘excellence’ according to eleven attributes, which include customer service, BEE, social responsibility and sustainable development. Its questionnaires are developed with the input of key role-players in the specific industries. PMR also generates country profiles, with information on nations’ economic and social standing and puts together community profiles. These community surveys and the collection of data on local dynamics constitute a vital source of information. The purpose of this survey is to strengthen the strategies of communities, as well as to empower communities.

Wits Business School

The Wits Business School mission is to establish and maintain excellence in scholarship in business and management education, through the promotion of research and teaching in the various business and management disciplines. WBS has a strong reputation as a leading business school provider of MBA and other Masters business degree courses, and an extensive range of short-course executive education, leadership development, and corporate learning options. As one of the leading business schools in South Africa, its terrain of knowledge and activity is local, African, and international. WBS academic faculty is drawn from a number of nationalities including Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ireland, USA and Madagascar. Approximately half of its academic fulltime staff is non-South African. The visiting faculty is primarily based in the United States, and it has representation from several other countries.

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 abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

Further resources from Brand South Africa

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For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Nadia Samie-Jacobs
Public Relations Domestic
Tel: +27 11 712 5007
Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399