SA reverses ‘downward trend’ in the WEF competitiveness rankings

30 September 2015 - 11:21 By RDM News Wire

An “increased uptake” in the information and communication technology sector (ICT) has been largely credited for South Africa moving up seven places on the “most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide”. The state of the country’s health was‚ however‚ described as “worrisome” in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016‚ which was released on Wednesday.“South Africa climbs seven places to reach 49th‚ reversing its four-year downward trend thanks largely to increased uptake of ICTs—especially higher internet bandwidth—and improvements in innovation (up by five places to 38th)‚ which establish the economy as the region’s most innovative‚” said the report.It said South Africa “also hosts the continent’s most efficient financial market (12th) and benefits from a sound goods market (38th)‚ which is driven by strong domestic competition (28th) and an efficient transport infrastructure (29th)”.Strong institutions and a robust and independent legal framework also put the country in good standing‚ the report said‚ but “corruption‚ the burden of government regulation and improving the security situation would further improve institutions”.Eskom’s woes had a detrimental effect on the country’s rating‚ as the report noted that “the country also needs to address its inefficient electricity supply (116th) and inflexible labor market (107th)”.“Even more worrisome are health (128th) and the quality of education (120th)‚ where higher secondary enrollment rates will not be enough to create the skills needed for a competitive economy‚” the report said.The health ranking‚ while dire‚ is an improvement on South Africa's 132nd position on the 2014/2015 table.

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