Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Wednesday said more needed to be done by the government, private sector and civil society to achieve a “consistent and cohesive” approach when marketing South Africa locally, in the African continent and internationally.
“Building a national brand depends on nation building and how cohesive we are as a nation. We need to undo the legacy of colonial apartheid which created a state without a nation, without unity in communities we cannot have a nation,” Muthambi said during the Nation Brand Forum in Johannesburg.
One of Brand South Africa’s (Brand SA) key imperatives is to proactively develop strategies that will shape and build SA’s image and reputation, in order to coherently articulate the nation brand identity.
Muthambi said South Africans needed to build a common overarching South African national identity.
Brand SA along with stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector engaged in discussions to identify the country’s strengths which would anchor a common approach on how to position South Africa as a globally competitive nation brand in a cohesive and consistent manner.
“During the Department of Communications’ Budget Vote Speech in 2015/16, we announced that a National Branding Summit will be held. We announced this because we have observed that there is not enough coordination of the country’s efforts to build the country’s brand by all stakeholders,” Muthambi said.
She added that the forum aimed at agreeing on the fact that more needed to be done to improve the work of Brand SA locally and in Africa.
“At the end of the Forum we must agree on the things we need to do to achieve a cohesive and coherent brand image and reputation and create a distinctive identity for the nation brand,” said Muthambi.
“We should in the long-term develop a knowledge base, assets and strategies that can be used to help enrich South Africa’s reputation over time.
“Economic growth and development is crucial to the strength of a National brand. If the economy grows, jobs are created, social levels improve. Foreign direct investments becomes a reality and the economy thrives.”
Brand SA head of research, Dr Petrus De Kock said that their research aimed at developing insight and analysis onto the performance of the nation brand from domestic and international perspective focuses on reputation and competitiveness.
Break away sessions were held to discuss the strengths and challenges of tourism, people, culture and heritage, governance and social cohesion as well as investment and exports.
– African News Agency (ANA)