Managing perceptions of South Africa is essential to increasing its global competitiveness, and attracting foreign investment. This was the main message of a Brand South Africa seminar, International Perceptions of South Africa in a Complex Emerging Market, held on 2 April.
Speaking at a seminar organised by Brand South Africa and the Department of Trade and Industry, Andre Groenewald from the Department of International Relations said Africa's star was rising, as the continent's natural resources give it a competitive edge in the global economy.
When it is complete, the Riversands incubation hub near the impoverished township of Diepsloot will be filled with small businesses benefiting the innovative Asset-Based Community Driven Development programme. The plan is to grow the township's talent pool, increase skills and create jobs.
First there were the dreary little boxes of RDP houses. Then there came the growing recognition that it's not just houses that need to be built; communities and places where people actually want to live are required. And Cornubia is one of the first communities to come out of the Breaking New Ground policy.
The Maverick Awards, a new initiative by youth development consultancy Under 35 Mavericks in partnership with Brand South Africa, seek to reward the hard-nosed genius of established young South African entrepreneurs with prizes of up to R1-million.
It may be the economic powerhouse of the country, but Gauteng also has the highest concentration of poverty. "Our cost of living is high, food and transport costs are high. But this budget will bolster confidence so that we can have healthy growth in the economy," a business breakfast heard.
Tax breaks for low income earners, but an increase in the fuel and road accident levies and in sin taxes. The finance minister pulled off a careful balancing act in a slow economy and an election year, tightening the reins on public spending but laying the foundation for the National Development Plan.