Brand SA gaining prominence

2013-09-06 00:00

WHILE Durban looks to be treading water, South Africa’s two major cities, Johannesburg and Cape Town, have both moved up one place from 45 to 44 and from 43 to 42 respectively in the Anholt-GfK Roper City Brand Index (CBI).

Durban still sits at 47 out of the 50 cities taking part.

Conducted biannually with GfK Roper, the CBI measures the image of 50 cities.

City brands are strongly correlated with nation brands, according to Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola, who announced the latest CBI ratings at a function hosted by the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) in Durban yesterday.

Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town have improved their scores in the majority of the 10 panel countries, Matola said. “Scores are up noticeably in India, which already has a favourable view of South African cities.

“With Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban being seen as strong city brands, there is cause to believe that South Africa’s attractiveness as a destination of choice for, amongst others, investments and tourism, is increasing.”

Matola said the improved perceptions of Johannesburg was good news both for the country and other cities. “It means perception levels regarding safety and security have gone up.”

Internationally all three cities are associated with “natural beauty” and “cultural diversity” while their citizens are seen as hardworking, respectful of traditions, happy and energetic.

U.S. opinion was also more positive in this CBI. “They are rating our cities higher on potential.”

Matola said the position number should not be taken at face value but as an indication. “You need to drill down into the details.”

All three cities beat Beijing and Mumbai in the “labour market” and “ease of doing business” categories.

This received further confirmation in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 report where South Africa has risen two places — from 41 (in 2012) to 39. The index looks at factors that contribute to the ease of doing business, including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, and trading across borders.

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