SA's reputation improving: study
South Africa's reputation in the G8 countries has shown a steady improvement since 2009, says the Reputation Institute.
It has showed a steady year-on-year improvement since 2009 from a score of 44.27 in January that year to 44.60 in January 2010 and 46.70 in January 2011 (on a score scale of 0-100).
South Africa's reputation score spiked at 49.11 in August 2010, after the Soccer World Cup held at venues around the country.
The institute said on Wednesday that the top driver of South Africa's reputation among people of the G8 countries in 2011 was whether people were welcoming and friendly. The perception of whether the country was a safe place was the second most important of the 16 drivers measured in 2011.
South Africa achieved a "weak" score of 57.84 in the top driver, and its score as a safe place was considered poor at 37.32.
Perceptions of the government's effectiveness achieved a "weak" 41.6.
The country scored the highest in physical beauty (72.19) and enjoyment (71.21), but these were only the fifth and seventh most important drivers of South Africa's reputation.
"This indicates that we can improve our reputation by working hard on safety and effective government," said the institute's MD in South Africa, Dominik Heil.
"Recent gains that have been announced in safety and security are therefore really important and bode well for us in building a stronger reputation."
Out of the 50 countries measured in 2011, South Africa continued to be associated with mid-scale reputation countries such as Puerto Rico, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Egypt and this year was ranked 33rd overall in the world. Several new countries were included in the 2011 survey, including Egypt and Nigeria.
The survey ranked Egypt at 37th position. Nigeria was 47th, ahead only of Pakistan, Iran and Iraq.
Canada was the best-regarded country in the world in 2011, while Sweden, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand were in the next four.
Norway, Denmark, Finland, Austria and Netherlands made up the rest of the top 10 countries in the world.
The G8 comprises the world's eight most industrialised nations: Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Russia, the UK and the US.