Category Archives: Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa

South Africa ranks 31 out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s performance in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI). While the country’s ranking declines by three positions to 31/180 from 28/180 in 2018, South Africa remains in a strong position in terms of its global position in press freedom.

Contextualising the decline, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock notes that some threats were perceived to the freedom of action of journalists, which according to the survey includes cases where journalists were harassed or subjected to intimidation in cases of reporting on some sensitive issues including: government finances, redistribution of land, and corruption.

Dr de Kock adds that “while these are some of the challenges raised by journalists through the WPFI survey, it is clear from the country’s performance in the index that South Africa maintains an extremely free press environment. South Africa’s improved ranking since 2013 illustrates a systemic strengthening of press freedom in a democratic society.”

For a global point of reference, it is noteworthy that the 2019 WPFI reports that France and the United Kingdom rank just behind South Africa in terms of press freedom at 32/180, and 33/180 respectively. The United States of America ranks far below South Africa for press freedom, at 48/180. Two major African states Kenya and Nigeria rank 100/180 and 120/180 respectively.

“This means that in both a global and African context, South Africa performs extremely well in terms of press freedom. The relevance of this index for South Africa, as a transparent Constitutional Democracy, is that the country has the duty to maintain press freedom, and to enhance the rights of citizens to not only access information, but also to be free to express opinions in public without any fear of retribution, or state sanction. In a global environment where journalists often have to do their work in the face of fear and threats to their lives, South Africa’s high ranking in the Press Freedom Index enhances the reputation of the Nation Brand,” said Dr de Kock.

The WPFI ranks 180 countries for the level of freedom journalists have to perform their duties. It is based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country and region.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa views Statistics SA’s GDP results as a wake-up call

Johannesburg, Wednesday 05 June 2019 –  Brand South Africa notes with concern the results released by Stats SA which indicate that South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019, the largest quarterly drop in GDP in a decade.

 According to the report, the main contributors to the decline are manufacturing (-8.8%), mining (-10.8%) and agriculture (-13.2%). “The decline is the biggest quarterly fall in economic activity since the first quarter of 2009, when the economy – under strain from the global financial crisis – tumbled by 6.1%,” said Stats SA in a statement.

Economist have attributed it to load shedding, perceived weak economic policy and instability at state-owned enterprises.

“Important for South Africa is the fact that increased trade tensions between major economies stand to have a negative impact on commodity exporters due to potential price volatility. While the South African GDP outlook has seen a downward revision, this happens in a global context, where the World Bank indicated earlier in the year that international trade and investment are moderating – and as such this is a challenge for many emerging markets, and South Africa is no exception. Additionally, the global economy and trading system is being challenged by trade tensions that remain elevated,” said Brand South Africa, General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock.

“We are confident that under the 6th administration that we will expand the economy, in order to address our many societal problems which, find their roots in the scourge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. These results are a call to action for all stakeholders across all sectors to collaborate in finding sustainable solutions to grow our economy,” concluded Dr de Kock.

Brand South Africa

South Africa¹s Performance in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2019 remains stable

JOHANNESBURG, Wednesday 30 January 2019 – Brand South Africa notes South Africa’s performance in the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which indicates that the country’s corruption perceptions score remains quite stable at 43/100 in 2019.

Commenting on the report, Dr Petrus de Kock, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa said: “At the time of conducting analysis of the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is unearthing significant news regarding corrupt activities involving the private- and public sector. It is in this context therefore striking that South Africa’s corruption perceptions score remains quite stable at 43/100 in 2019. The score translates into a ranking of 73/180 nations measured through the CPI, the country’s ranking in 2017 was 71/180.”

Dr de Kock adds that while the ranking and score in the CPI remains stable, it is necessary to manage the reputational fall-out of revelations regarding corruption carefully.

“In this context it is necessary to indicate the extreme levels of transparency designed into the South African states’ governance system. For example, South Africa ranks 2/115 nations in the Open Budget Index, an indicator that clearly illustrates that the South African governance system is a world leader in terms of transparency and accountability within a constitutional democracy. It is necessary to reinforce this message on an ongoing basis to contextualise the reasons why revelations of unethical behaviour, and corruption, occur in the South African context,” said Dr de Kock.

In line with an element of public opinion in South Africa, the CPI also notes that ongoing commissions of inquiry is a step in the right direction to fight corruption. However, there is a need to move beyond commissions of inquiry towards the prosecution of those implicated in cases of corruption and/or state capture.

In terms of South Africa, the CPI notes that ‘under President Ramaphosa, the administration has taken additional steps to address anti-corruption on a national level, including through the work of the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee. Although the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) has been in place for years, the current government continues to build momentum for the strategy by soliciting public input.

Dr de Kock concludes: “From a Nation Brand reputation point of view it is important that commissions of inquiry are interrogating issues of state capture, and associated corrupt behaviour. However, as a nation we need to embrace the principles of transparency and accountability embedded in the nation’s constitution.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa

TEAM SA READY TO PRESENT IMPROVED INVESTMENT PROPOSITION AT 2019 WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

JOHANNESBURG, 16 JANUARY 2019 – President Cyril Ramaphosa will be leading South Africa’s delegation to the world’s most important meeting of global CEOs at the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place in Davos, Switzerland next week. The primary objective of the South African delegation will be to strengthen partnerships and collaboration for inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa, with particular emphasis on increasing international investment into the country.

“We are going to Davos to interact with potential investors”. We are competing with other emerging markets where there is an oasis of investment opportunities for global investors and it’s where we want to be seen to be investing. We have a place of pride at Davos. We are recognised and accepted as being serious players. Some of our countrymen and women even play a role in the structures of WEF in Davos and we are going to speak with one language and the same message: South Africa is like a plane that is getting ready to take off,” the President said at a pre-WEF breakfast in Rosebank today. He was addressing Team South Africa, comprising Government Ministers and business leaders who will be accompanying him as part of the Team SA delegation.

One of the focus areas for the team will be to showcase South Africa’s preparedness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in line with this year’s WEF  theme: “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The Forum will enable South Africa to build on the success of the President’s Investment Conference in October last year where R290 billion was raised for future investments.

“We are on the right track. We had to deal with very difficult challenges in the past but those are challenges we are finding solutions to. We must put our best foot forward, we must go and engage the world with great confidence knowing we are representing this great country. We are going to start seeing improved growth in our economy and I think we can go with our heads held high, without arrogance, to tell our story, what we have done and how we have made progress.”

The President together with Team SA will participate in a WEF Country Strategy Dialogue on South Africa on Wednesday, 23 January. This will focus on deepening understanding of current investment opportunities and challenges, as well as exploring new avenues to help enable the country to achieve the President’s investment target of $100 billion in the next five years. The session will be attended by investors, leading business leaders and experts.

“We have turned the corner, it’s a new Dawn. We can confidently go back and say, remember what we told you, this is what we have done. As I often say, we are like a plane about to take off.”

On Thursday, 24 January, Brand South Africa together with ABSA and Invest SA will host a South Africa Investment Seminar with a goal to support and initiate the next phase of the country’s investment drive. Potential investors will have the opportunity to hear from – and engage with – South Africa government and business representatives.

Lastly, Team South Africa will entertain guests at a Brand South Africa Night Dinner with investors and potential investors where the best of South Africa’s cuisine will be showcased with Chef Benny.

The President has confirmed the following ministers will be joining him to participate at WEF this year:

  • Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni;
  • Minister of Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu;
  • Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies;
  • Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan;
  • Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel;
  • Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and;
  • Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi.
Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s rankings in the 2018 World Bank’s Ease Doing Business, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), and the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index

Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes South Africa’s performance in the 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (EDB) which sees the country’s ranking at 82nd out of 190 economies.

The World Bank notes two areas of improvement in the EDB 2018, being: South Africa has made starting a business easier by reducing the time for online business registration, and the country improved the monitoring of electricity outages through recording data to monitor outages better.

Commenting on the EDB results, Dr Petrus de Kock, the General Manager for Research for Brand South Africa said: “In terms of statistical score there is a marginal improvement of +1.37 points. While South Africa retains its over-all ranking at 82/190 this year, it is notable that there are some improvements in the following pillars of the index, being: starting a business – improve with two positions from 136 to 134; registering property – improve with one position from 107 to 106; trading across borders – improve with four positions from 147 to 143; getting electricity – improve with three positions from 112 to 109; and protecting minority investors – improve with one position from 24 to 23.”

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report is an indicator of the ease of doing business in various economies around the world. Released in October 2018, this year’s report presents data for 190 economies and aggregates information from ten areas of business regulation (such as starting a business, getting credit and enforcing contracts), to develop an overall ease of doing business ranking for each economy.

This week also sees the release of the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), with the report showing that South Africa has fallen from 6th to 7th position. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual measure of governance efficiency of African countries. The report covers 54 countries and base its analysis on 100 indicators that are drawn from 36 independent sources which together fall into 4 broad thematic categories: Safety & Rule of Law; Participation & Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development.

“The strongest areas of performance for the country are in the Participation & Human Rights (4/54), as well as Sustainable Economic Opportunity (4/54) indicators. In the African – and Emerging Market contexts, governance plays a critical role in shaping the reputation of nations. It is for this reason that the IIAG provides critical insights regarding the profile of the South African Nation Brand.

“Results contained in the IIAG 2018 is a cause for concern for the South African Nation Brand. And the implication is that urgent interventions are needed to turn the negative trends around, based on a robust existing governance regime in the context of a constitutional democracy,” adds Dr de Kock.

Brand South Africa also noted South Africa’s declined performance in the 2018-2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (WEF GCI). South Africa now ranks 61 out of 140 economies assessed in the annual survey. Dr de Kock explains that the WEF GCI 2018 presents a revised methodology to measure national competitiveness, and productivity in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

De Kock said: “In a major step change from its long established methodology that underpins the GCI, the 2018 edition of the index introduces a range of new concepts and attributes geared to measuring competitiveness, and ultimately productivity, to respond to the challenges of the time.  Being agile and capable to adapt to technological change and innovation, is critical to productivity and survival in a period of rapid change.

“Of the original 98 indicators that informed the GCI, 34 have been retained, and 64 new indicators introduced. And based on the new WEF GCI methodology it is clear that South Africa still ranks extremely well in terms of: Market size, Finance System, and Innovation Capability.”

South Africa’s national strengths can be found in the Finance System ranking 18th, it’s Market Size at 35th, with strong performance in Business Dynamics at 56th, the Labour Market at 55th (which looks much more promising than rankings achieved through the previous methodology), with a relatively good ranking for Economic Stability at 57th.  In the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution it is notable that South Africa ranks 46th for Innovation Capability.

Brand South Africa

UNDP Report shows that South Africans are enjoying a longer and healthier life

Brand South Africa welcomes South Africa’s improvement in the 2018 United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR). South Africa’s 2018 ranking is 113 out of 189 countries, with an over-all human development score increased to 0.699.

 Brand South Africa’s GM for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “This means that South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to

education and a more decent living standard. The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies human development as a critical part of inclusive growth and

acknowledges its inadequate improvement in relation to education, health and safety. South Africa has a good story developing, indicated by the steady

improvement of its HDI score over the last years.”

 As in previous years, South Africa has seen a steady increase in its Human Development Index (HDI) value since 1990, moving up 7.2% from 0.621 in 1990, to 0.666

in 2014.  South Africa’s improvement in the rankings comes as a result of advancements in the area of Life Expectancy in which South Africa has made marked progress since 2005.

 Released by the UNDP, of these 189 countries the Index covers the following groupings of nations (in terms of human development) appear: 59 – Very High

Human Development; 53 – High Human Development; 39 – Medium Human Development; and 38 – Low Human Development (in 2010 there were 49 in the Low Human Development category).

 “South Africa is classified as being located in the medium human development category, and the country’s HDI of 0.699 is above average in this category.

The country’s performance is even more impressive when compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an average HDI score of 0.537,” adds Dr de Kock.

The top five nations in terms of human development are Norway with an HDI Value of 0.953; Switzerland achieves an HDI Value of 0.944); Australia’s HDI Value

is recorded to be at 0.939; Ireland’s HDI Value is positioned at 0.938; and Germany’s HDI Value is reported to be 0.936.

The 2018 report warns that climatic changes, escalating civil conflicts (e.g. in Libya, Yemen, and Syria), and growing inequality will continue to impact

negatively on human development prospects in many parts of the world.

 

ENDS

 

 

Notes to the Editor

 

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 programme 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. 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 and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the 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.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa Calls for Strengthened Partnerships to Boost Job Creation

A key aspect of South Africa’s National Development Plan, the blueprint for creating sustainable growth and development in the country, is its emphasis on the power of public-private-partnerships (PPPs), says Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mrs Linda Magapatona-Sangaret.

Statistics South Africa recently released a quarterly labour force survey, which shows that the unemployment rate rose to 27.2% from 26.7% in the first three months of this financial year. Commenting on these statistics Magapatona-Sangaret said: “Economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation are immense challenges that the government cannot meet alone. Public-private partnerships serve as one of the viable solutions in addressing this challenge as they are a catalyst for economic growth in South Africa”.

“Our country’s strong capital markets, vibrant economic policies, stable political climate, a competitive private sector, proud democracy and a robust economic outlook, put us in the ultimate position to enhance effective partnerships between public and private sectors for employment creation.”

Following President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel defined the four key areas which are addressed and inspired by PPPs; transfer of skills, exposure to work, job creation and entrepreneurial activity. 

In 2015, the World Bank commissioned a benchmarking study ‘The 2015 Infrascope’ carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit that evaluated the capacity of African countries to implement sustainable and efficient PPPs. South Africa scored highest overall in all. Factors favouring South Africa, versus its peers on the African continent, is that it has PPP-specific laws and policies, sufficient financial market depth to fully enable PPP financing and National Treasury as an established central unit coordinating and approving PPPs.

The unemployment rate was reported to have jumped 0.5% to 27.2% in the second quarter of 2018, which equates to 6.1 million unemployed South Africans who are looking for work. The jobless rate had remained unchanged at 26.7% in the first three months of the year and the end of 2017.

“We are all collectively responsible for doing our part when it comes to job creation in South Africa; the everyday citizen needs to prepare themselves with the appropriate education and direction to succeed when opportunity arises, the business owner needs check out the struggles of the people around him/her and be open to new business ideas, and the government and private sector need to strengthen collaborative efforts for the best interests of the South African people. We need to create an honest assessment of where we are and also where we want to be as a country.  From there, we can envision genuine economic progress for the future,” concluded Magapatona-Sangaret.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa partners with the South African High Commission in Kenya to Commemorate International Nelson Mandela Day

Johannesburg, Wednesday 18 July 2018 – Hundreds of children gathered with diplomats, government officials and business leaders today at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) to celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

With 2018 also marking the centenary since the birth of anti-apartheid stalwart, Albertina Sisulu, the South African High Commission in Kenya also remembered and celebrated the life of the struggle stalwart who lobbied for the education and equal rights of women and children. Mama Sisulu was widely regarded as a mother of the South African nation due to her motherly role and maternal instincts as a nurse and caregiver.

Led and hosted by the South African High Commissioner to Kenya, Her Excellency Koleka Mqulwana, the Mandela centenary events included a mass at the All Saints Cathedral  Church on Sunday and a visit to New Life Children’s Home where 400 learners from various primary and secondary schools, as well as university students, were hosted with the United Nations and celebrated a signing of a declaration. The students delivered a declaration that expressed the futures that they envisioned for themselves in which they would experience safety, food security, education, peace and prosperity.

High Commissioner Koleka Mqulwana, said: “The legacies of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu are about making a positive impact on people’s lives through selfless actions, particularly for children and those that are disadvantaged or disenfranchised. As an important East African ally to South Africa, it is fitting that we are commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in Kenya, whilst also taking to heart the message of the life of Albertina Sisulu in 2018.”

United Nations regional representatives that attended today’s event included UNICEF-Kenya Representative, Patrizia DiGiovanni; H.E. Mr. Jean-Pierre Ossey, Deputy Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Congo; H.E. Mr. Marek Rohr-Garztecki, Chair of the Eastern European Group, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Poland; H.E Mrs. Marta Eugenia Juarez Ruiz, Chair of the Latin America and the Caribbean Group, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica; H.E. Mr. Victor Conrad Ronneberg, Chair of the Western European and Other States Group, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway; Amb. Dr. Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade from the Government of Kenya; as well as Ms. Thoko Didiza, a representative from the Government of South Africa.

The staff of the South African High Commission also took the opportunity of Nelson Mandela Day to spend 67 minutes – one minute for every year that Mandela spent in public service – with children from the New Life Children’s Home donating essential items, feeding the babies, doing laundry and gardening.

“The admirable collaboration with South African businesses operating in Kenya in celebrating the centenary has been inspiring. Ploughing back into Kenyan communities by South African companies through their corporate social responsibility initiatives planned throughout the year is in line with Nelson Mandela core values of humility, selflessness and passion,” the High Commissioner said.

Today’s commemoration coincided with hundreds of similar events around the world.

South African President, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, launched the centenary celebrations in South Africa on 11 February 2018 with the aim of celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela which should inspire change, unity and development for all Africans.

Brand South Africa Chief Marketing Officer, Linda Sangaret said: “The legacy Nelson Mandela left with us is that you can have many roles as a leader beyond being in a position of power. Leaders of today can look to the Mandela legacy to understand the distinction between positional power and personal influence.”

Additional Nelson Mandela centenary events planned for July include a Mandela Lecture at the University of Nairobi on 26 July 2018, the unveiling of Nelson Mandela and Dedan Kimathi busts at the Heroes Garden of the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology; reconstruction of Zia Ra Wimbi Primary School in Kilifi; the donation of Mandela books at the Kenya National Library Services and a visit to Kakuma Refugee Camp for the benefit of young women and girls.

Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Global Markets, Dr Judy Smith-Höhn said: “It goes without saying that the African continent is central to driving positive perceptions of South Africa as a country. The activities of our Missions abroad are key to the work that we do in positioning South Africa as a competitive and attractive destination.

“We are delighted to have worked with the South African High Commission in Kenya on such a momentous occasion – that is the Centenary of Nelson Mandela.”

Brand South Africa

World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic Report highlights applications on how South Africa can address challenges to create a more inclusive society

Brand South Africa welcomes the World Bank’s recently released a report which explores key development challenges and opportunities for South Africa and identified five binding constraints to tackling poverty and inequality.

The report titled ‘Systematic Country Diagnostic – An Incomplete Transition: Overcoming the Legacy of Exclusion in South Africa,’ indicates that the root causes of persistently high poverty, inequality, and unemployment are associated to South Africa’s history of

exclusion, which is rooted in land, capital, labour and product markets. This is despite advancements made since the country’s democratic dispensation in 1994.

According to the new World Bank Group Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) on South Africa ‘tackling the root causes of poverty, inequality, and unemployment through coordinated reforms could help South Africa make further progress toward its Vision 2030

in the National Development Plan (NDP).’

The report which was prepared in consultation with South African national authorities and other stakeholders, examines the relationship between ‘history, social, economic, financial, fiscal and environmental issues, and their impact on poverty and inequality.’

The report notes that many of the identified challenges, are linked to South Africa’s long history of exclusion and puts distinct focus to the need for large-scale job creation. The diagnostic states that ‘while South Africa underwent a successful and peaceful

political transition in 1994, too many South Africans remain excluded from participating in the economy, rendering the transition incomplete.’

Commenting on the report – Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research Dr Petrus de Kock said: “As the World Bank report indicates, poverty has declined since 1994. This has been achieved through successful government interventions in the provision of

water, electricity, sanitation, and housing. However, inequality, especially along racial and gender lines, has increased. 

The diagnostic identifies five binding constraints that reflect the root causes in tackling poverty and inequality in the country, and recommendations:

  • Insufficient skills – the SCD recommends focusing on children and young adults as the most critical approach to addressing this constraint.
  • Skewed distribution of land and productive assets and weak property rights – the SCD suggests reforms that can strengthen the asset base of the poor, while also increasing property security for investors. 
  • Low competition and low integration in global and regional value chains  reform of transport-related state-owned enterprises, including greater private sector participation.
  • Limited or expensive connectivity and under-serviced historically disadvantaged settlements  policy options include fostering strategic densification of cities and diversifications of land use, as well as expanding basic services in underserviced settlements. 
  • Climate shocks  disruptions to the economy and jobs as South Africa transitions to a low-carbon economy will need to be mitigated carefully, the diagnostic suggests.

“Reducing poverty and inequality is the overriding objective of the NDP. Evident from the World Bank’s SCD report is that we need to work as a collective and across all sectors to ensure that our policies encourage the growth and the

enhancement of the Nation Brand’s reputation both internally and externally. Several global studies indicate a correlation between the reputation of a Nation Brand and the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), as well as internal investor confidence.

“Thus an enhanced reputation through clear interventions to tackle corruption, inefficiency, and unethical behavior in both the public and private sectors, can go a long way towards improving domestic- and international business confidence in South Africa as

trade partner, investment destination, and catalytic market that enables trade in the Sub-Saharan African environment. Improved business confidence can lead to increased internal and foreign investment, with the consequence of creating employment and

opportunities for skills development,” added Dr de Kock.

Paul Noumba Um, the World Bank’s Country Director for South Africa, is quoted saying: “The Government of South Africa has done much to address its most pressing development challenges, the triple challenge of high unemployment, poverty and inequality,

but much still remains to be done. The World Bank stands ready to support South Africa in its efforts to tackle the triple challenge.” 

Notes to the Editor

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 programme 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. 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 and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the 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.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s true legacy: a free and prosperous South Africa

Johannesburg, Monday 09 April 2018  Following her passing at age 81 in a Johannesburg hospital on Easter Sunday, Brand South Africa highlights the important role that heroine of freedom, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, played in helping South Africa transition peacefully from apartheid to a stable democracy in 1994.
Madikizela-Mandela’s courage to speak her truth and dedicate her life towards fulfilling a vision of an equitable, prosperous, better future for South Africa is what made her a truly powerful icon of freedom. 
A true patriot, Madikizela-Mandela faced untold hardships during the apartheid years, yet she confronted each with an inner strength and fortitude. It is her courage and bravery as well as fearless commitment to fulfilling the dream of economic and political freedom which will remain her ultimate legacy. 
“Her spirit, her passion…her courage, her wilfulness: I felt all of these things the moment I saw her,” said former South African President Nelson Mandela of the woman he would later marry. Her dedication to the resistance movement meant she had to push many of her personal goals aside. The first black professional social worker in South Africa, Madikizela-Mandela had been married to Mandela for just a few years, when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1962. Like many black women of her generation, she was forced to become a single mother to her two small daughters and was thrust into the limelight as a ‘political widow’. 
“We were hardly a year together when history deprived me of you,” she wrote in a letter to Mandela while he was in prison in 1970, published in her autobiography 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69.
Madikizela-Mandela took up the challenge of continuing to resist the racism and sexism that defined her generation with a maturity beyond her years.  It was thanks largely to her, that international attention remained focused on the story of Nelson Mandela and the fight against Apartheid while he served out his prison sentence.
“Your formidable shadow which eclipsed me left me naked and exposed to the bitter world of a young ‘political widow’. I knew this was a crown of thorns for me but I also knew I said, ‘I Do’ for better or worse. In marrying you I was marrying the struggle of my people,” she wrote to Mandela in 1977, in a letter also published in her autobiography.
It was when she was arrested by the apartheid police and taken away from her two daughters, then aged just nine and ten years old, that she was forced to bear the true weight of personal sacrifice for her people. She spent 491 days in detention, much of this in solitary confinement under unimaginably brutal conditions.  Two trials later, she was finally released. 
“She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment. Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists,” noted Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate after her passing.
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, once part of the legal team who defended Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said she had an “incredible ability to be able to take on injustice and soak up pain in a way that is not immediately describable.”
Madikizela-Mandela traded what could have been a simple life of motherhood and marriage for an active political life.  Instead, she became fondly known as the
“Mother of the Nation”, serving as a mentor and mother to many of South Africa’s young activists, including Fikile Mbalula, current chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on elections and Malusi Gigaba, now Minister of Home Affairs, both of whom who lived with Madikizela-Mandela as young members of the party’s Youth League.  
“Mam’ Winnie lost her innocence because of a struggle she actually didn’t choose, the struggle entrusted upon her by the husband she chose and the people she identified with – the vulnerable people who were discriminated because of apartheid,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in tribute to her.
Actress Terry Pheto who played Madikizela-Mandela in the BET drama Madiba, said she grew up looking up to Winnie, because her mother did as well.  “I was very aware of her journey, her struggles and her fights. Because of that, it was important for me to see this role as I’ve always seen her; an important and necessary figure in our time,” Pheto said in an interview in 2017 with HuffPost.
Although separated for 27 years while Mandela was in prison, the couple communicated through a series of emotion-filled hand-written letters. In one, also published in 491 Days she wrote: “As you say, our goal is [a] free Africa, my love I have never had any doubts about that.” 
It was this vision that inspired the couple to dedicate their lives to fulfilling their dream of a free South Africa. Madikizela-Mandela came to represent the hopes and dreams of millions of oppressed South Africans.
“Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in tribute to Madikizela-Mandela.
As South Africa mourns the loss of a brave, courageous leader. We also celebrate her sacrifices and achievements over a lifetime of dedicated service to and making the dream of a free and prosperous South Africa a reality. 
Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela, who lived with Madikizela-Mandela after her husband Nelson Mandela’s release from prison expressed his sadness saying “It is truly with great sadness to have lost the Mother of the Nation. We are forever grateful for the role she played in securing our freedom. We indeed need to celebrate her legacy.”
Hamba Kahle Mama.
Please contact Tsabeng Nthite on +27 76 371 6810 if you would like to interview any of the following people about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela:
 
Brand SA CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela
Fikile Mbalula, Chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on elections
Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs
Sello Hatang, CEO of Nelson Mandela Foundation
Dikgang Moseneke, Former Deputy Chief Justice,
Terry Pheto, Actress who played Winnie Madikizela-Mandela