Corporate South Africa deserves the reputational mess it’s in

South Africa
Corporate SA deserves the reputational mess it is in

The latest survey of most reputable countries by the Reputation Institute ranks South Africa as having a “weak” reputation, coming in at number 36 out of 55, between South Korea and Mexico. The country’s reputation is determined based on how appealing the environment is (nice place, nice people), how effective the government is (safety, corruption, social and economic policies, favourable business environment, etc) and the status of the economy (educated and reliable workforce, good brands, technology, etc). If we ignore the government section, which accounts for 37 percent of the total score – because that’s not our fault, right? Wrong! But we’ll get to that another day! – that means that 63 percent of the country’s reputation is completely within our control. Why are we then scoring so badly?

If you dig a little further into the research, you will see that there is not a single company from South African compan in the global top 100 most reputable companies. Are we really that inconsequential? South Africans are generally quite proud of our multi-national corporates but perhaps we’re all just fooling ourselves and our giants, upon whose shoulders we would like to stand to get our own share of the glory (and inflated P:E ratio), are actually just wanna-bes?

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