South Africa has moved four places up to be ranked 45th in the 2017 Country RepTrakĀ® study conducted by Reputation House, Brand South Africa announced on Friday.

The Reptrak study measures South Africa’s reputation from both an internal and external perspective, meaning that the survey is conducted in South Africa, as well as in “G8” countries.

Welcoming the news that the country is ranked 45th out of 71 countries measured in the study, Brand South Africa’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Kingsley Makhubela said the performance of the country in such indices will assist in improving the economy.

“South Africa’s performance in such indices encourages national efforts by government, business, civil society and South African’s in general – to strengthen recovery strategies that’ll ensure that we improve our economy, and global competitiveness,” he said.

South Africa scored 55.1 points (out of a possible 100), versus the 49.2 points in 2016, which gave it a rank of 49th.

This year’s results show an improvement both in terms of how respondents in the G8, and South Africans perceive the country in terms of its reputation.

Amongst the BRICS (BRAZIL, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, the country is positioned in third place with Brazil and India in first and second places respectively. The 2017 results show that the United States of America’s perceived reputation has fallen behind South Africa, placing it at 47th out of the 71 countries measured.

The study evaluates country reputations amongst the general population of the “G8” countries (UK, Italy, France, Canada, US, Japan, Germany and Russia), while also providing an internal assessment from the perceptive of South Africans.

According to the G8 countries, factors driving South Africa’s reputation and improvement in the rankings come as a result of advancements in areas of: progressive social and economic policies, a well-educated and reliable workforce, production of high quality products and services, that the country values education, beautiful landscape, and it’s friendly and welcoming people.

Other reputation attributes that impact on G8 perceptions about the country are that the country is an important contributor to the global culture, is a responsible participant in the global community, and offers an appealing lifestyle.

On the other hand, South Africans scored South Africa 43.3 points, which is 14 points more than last year’s score of 29.3.

Brand South Africa said it should be noted that South Africans are much more critical of the country than international respondents to the study. The two areas in which South Africans and the “G8” general public agree, and hence rate the country highly, is that it is a beautiful country, and that her people are warm and friendly.

A new development in the attitude of South Africans towards their own country is the emphasis on valuing education which international respondents admire.

“This also reinforces perceptions about South Africans, from other studies such as the Nation Brand Index, as hardworking and resilient people. Importantly, a reputation is not a fixed once off outcome of an action, or set of actions.

“The nation brand and our global competitiveness is built by all citizens through their pride and patriotism, and improvements in our global reputation is a testament to the work that we are all doing to make South Africa a winning nation,” said Makhubela.

He added that this is a continuous process that needs to be refined based on the challenges and opportunities presented to the nation.

“Despite challenges, South Africa stands ready to contribute to inspire new ways of creating significant opportunities for growth and greater prospects for its citizens,” said Makhubela.

South Africa Moves Up Four Places in Reputation Study