Competitiveness This dog needs more fight
At a time when the quarterly unemployment rate has risen to a 13-year high of 27.7%, news also broke that South Africa has slipped a notch on the IMD Global Competitiveness index, dropping to 53 out of a possible 63 on the table, on which Venezuela occupies the bottom slot. We are, not incidentally, bottom of the scale when it comes to unemployment, and more surprisingly technological infrastructure and health and environment too. The index measures, and here we quote from the original Swiss, “the extent to which a country allows private entrepreneurs to create sustainable value for citizens.” Other issues flagged by business school IMD are our institutional issues, including corruption, transparency and gender inequality. Education is a shambles too, characterised by high public expenditure but a poor rate of return. On the upside, we have one of the lowest personal income tax rates and are among the best in private-sector pension provision – factors which should be attracting the international talent which is put off by issues of personal security.
Comment: A sobering read, where we seem to be failing even in areas like technology where we thought we were doing OK.