Behold SA’s Biggest Strengths And Weaknesses As Reported By IMD


The annual competitive report released by the International Institute for Manager Development (IMD) has South Africa as one of the 61 countries who are able to compete effectively on a global scale. The report showed SA’s Biggest Strengths And Weaknesses

The 2016 report which was conducted for just few countries revealed that though South Africa remained at the lower-end of the list, out of sync with its population size and economic weight, the country had managed to increase its ranking by one place.

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Ranking 52nd out of 61 countries, South Africa was pulled down by its poor performance across 18 indicators where the country was ranked second last (60th or 61st). This performance is quite poor compared to the 6 indicators where South Africa ranked first or second.

IMD collated its report based on data from international organizations like IMF and World Bank, as well as private firms – with further information gained from surveys with top executives and managers.

South Africa is known to possess economic and social strengths but when measuring the country’s major attractive factor which is based on responses from business leaders – not a single response was given in favour of government, where government competence scored a rating of exactly 0%.

According to IMD’s report, the country’s most attractive factors include: legal framework  (79.2%), levels of corporate governance (68.8%) and cost competitiveness “64.6%” were the most attractive features of the country.

Areas SA shows Its Strength 

The 6 key areas South Africa was said to have expressed its strength include

  1. Cost of living (1st)
  2. Secondary school enrollment (1st)
  3. Cost of office rent (2nd)
  4. Export concentration (2nd)
  5. Effective personal income tax (2nd)
  6. Stock market capitalization (2nd)

Areas SA Shows Weakness

On the other hand however, the country’s weaknesses seem to have superseded its strength and this is caused by the series of economic and social crisis the country has been facing from the past few years till date. These issues which range from massive labour and health problems, coupled with high levels of pay disparity, inequality and a poor education system, drag the country down.

The areas SA showed weakness as reported by IMD include:

  1. Unemployment rate (61st)
  2. Relocation threats of production (61st)
  3. Labor relations (61st)
  4. Life expectancy at birth (61st)
  5. Health problems (61st)
  6. Youth unemployment (60th)
  7. Employment (%) (60th)
  8. Relocation threats of R&D facilities (60th)
  9. Relocation threats of services (60th)
  10. Gini coefficient (60th)
  11. Immigration laws (60th)
  12. Equal opportunity (60th)
  13. Workforce productivity (60th)
  14. Worker motivation (60th)
  15. Human development index (60th)
  16. Access to water (60th)
  17. Educational system (60th)
  18. Future energy supply (60th)

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Meanwhile, the South African government is at its best to resolve most of these criteria that made the country that porous. Unemployment for instance, has remained a striving issue the SA government tries to address.

Reaching up to 26.7 in the recently released fact sheet, SA is said to have about 5.7 million who are unemployed out of 36.4 million people of working age in the country.