SA’s improved economic freedom ranking is ‘significant’ for investment

General manager for research for Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock.

South Africa’s improvement in the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom is “significant in a year where the administration of President Ramaphosa made investment a key focal area of its work”, according to general manager for research for Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock.

He said that the Heritage Foundation index provided some insight into dimensions of the South African economic environment as the country continued to grapple with historical challenges, and the need to spur on entrepreneurship and innovation.

De Kock added that “notable improvements” for South Africa in 2018 included the improvement in the area of investment freedom, and judicial effectiveness. 

With a world rank of 77/180, South Africa ranked fourth in the African region.

South Africa’s improvement in the rankings came as a result of advancements in its property rights, judicial effectiveness, fiscal health, business freedom, labour freedom and investment freedom scores.

“We are pleased with the upward trend of the nation’s competitive performance, particularly since 2018 saw a declining global competiveness of the economy, and South Africa also slipped into a technical recession during the first half of the year. It is therefore promising that South Africa, according to the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, is ‘moderately free’ in terms of its economic activity,” he said.

According to de Kock, economic freedom is about much more than a business environment where business flourishes; it has a far-reaching impact on other aspects such as human development and the power of choice. “Consequently, it remains imperative for South Africa to continue safeguarding openness to its market, government size and rule of law,” he said.


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