SA no land of plenty

31 October 2013 - 02:02 By NIVASHNI NAIR
GREENER PASTURES: The Legatum Prosperity Index rated Norway the most prosperous country in the world. It is the fifth consecutive time the Scandinavian nation has won this title
GREENER PASTURES: The Legatum Prosperity Index rated Norway the most prosperous country in the world. It is the fifth consecutive time the Scandinavian nation has won this title
Image: THINKSTOCK

South Africa has been ranked the 77th-most prosperous country in the world on this year's Legatum Prosperity Index - formulated by the Legatum Institute in London.

It has dropped three places from last year and five since 2009.

While the decline over the past five years can partly be attributed to the addition of 32 new countries to the index, the survey found that South Africa moved down 30 places in the personal freedom index.

Just under 60% of those interviewed said they were satisfied with freedom of choice in South Africa.

Over 82% believe corruption in the private sector and the government is widespread, and 88.1% believed hard work led to success.

Almost 66% of citizens have faith in the judiciary but only 43.3%trusted the national government.

Only 29% feel safe walking alone at night and a meagre 2% said they were not afraid to publicly express their political opinion.

The nation's social capital sub-index has risen 16 places since 2009 to 65th due to a perceived increase in social support and volunteerism.

Of those surveyed, 12% said they had donated to charity in the past month and 54% claimed to have recently helped a stranger.

Almost 22% said they had volunteered their time in the past month.

The overall ranking is based on the economic indicators of 142 countries and citizen surveys on governance, education, entrepreneurship and opportunity, personal freedom, safety and security, health and social capital.

It is the fifth consecutive year that Norway has placed first.

Switzerland came in second place, Canada third, Sweden fourth, and New Zealand fifth.

Chad fared the worst, followed by the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Burundi.

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