South Africa may be more sophisticated than other important markets in Africa, but political complacency and stagnating economic growth are getting foreign - and local - investors to look at high growth and good returns north of the border, writes DIANNA GAMES
Published in Business Day SA, 30 March 2015
AFRICANS from other countries often ask me why SA is squandering its obvious advantages. Many of them come from countries that have hit economic rock bottom and know what a long, hard road it is to recovery.
Although it is still easier to operate in than most other African countries, it is generally regarded as being on a downward trajectory, characterised by slow economic growth, policy confusion and a focus on short-term political priorities.
The country may be considerably more sophisticated than other important markets in Africa, but political complacency and stagnating economic growth have served to highlight, inadvertently, what competitors north of the border are offering — high growth, good returns and improving governance.
A survey conducted by the Economist Corporate Network among more than 200 CEOs, both local and foreign, in 25 industries across Africa, reflects an unfortunate trend — the relative decline of SA as a key market of choice for Africa-based investors over the next five years.