The skyline of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Brand South Africa’s field survey suggests Kenyans perceive South Africans to be imposing and aggressive. • Buy local to build South Africa’s economy• Stalled on the Trans-Africa Highway• National Development Plan: Utopian dream, practical blueprint• Want to grow Africa’s economy? Include women• Africa’s growth can stabilise world economyRay MaotaPerceptions of South Africa and its people can hinder or advance the country’s business progress in the rest of Africa. This was one of the insights gained from Brand South Africa fieldwork and other research in Kenya and Nigeria.The project, South Africa Incorporated or SA Inc, was created by Brand South Africa as part of its Africa Programme in order to uncover what local businesses face when trading with and investing in peer countries on the rest of the continent, and travelling to and living there.Dr Petrus de Kock, research manager at Brand South Africa, broke down the research report findings at the organisation’s Johannesburg offices on 18 September, at a roundtable discussion with representatives from South African companies doing business elsewhere in Africa.“One of the most surprising findings, to be explored in more detail in a subsequent report, pertains to South Africa’s creative industries particularly music, broadly the entertainment, and film and video production capabilities,” De Kock said. “The latter speaks to a strong people and cultural profile in Kenya and Nigeria that create a basis for sustained and expanded cultural contact.”SA Inc aims to uncover unique insights to help the organisation understand the environment in which Brand South Africa operates. For example, initial findings indicate personal interactions in business, social and government settings, De Kock said, often leave the impression among hosts in other African countries that South Africans are pushy, imposing and unwilling to listen to the authentic advice of locals and industry experts.The National Development Plan, which sets out the vision for the South Africa of the year 2013, posits expanded trade between South Africa and its peer African countries as a key long-term objective.“Since 1994 South Africa moved from being a pariah state,” De Kock said, “to becoming a key investor in and trade partner to the rest of Africa, as well as a holiday, shopping, entertainment and higher education destination. From a reputation, positioning and nation brand point of view, this project aims to fill some gaps in the national understanding of its profile in, exposure to, and range of interactions with the African environment.“This implies that whether South Africa wants to expand into peer African markets, or whether it wants to attract more investment or trade opportunities from those markets into South Africa, the fact remains that deeper insight is needed into threats, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of the nation brand in peer markets.”The nation brand and South AfricaAccording to the report, a nation brand is fundamentally different from corporate brands. Although certain corporate brands may have multiple sub-brands, or a wide variety of component parts that feed into and support the “mother brand”, a nation brand encompasses a dizzying array of attributes, as well as factors that impact on the performance, reputation, and competitiveness of the brand.“For this reason Brand South Africa approaches the nation brand as a composite construct that aims to present a coherent image and country message to domestic and international audiences,” De Kock said. “This image and message is drawn from a vast pool of indicators, attributes, and unique cultural and economic features of the nation.”He added that a nation brand encompasses all the attributes, strengths and innovations a nation offers the world, in all its spheres of activity. These include business, arts, music, theatre, film, tourism, science and innovation, infrastructure, manufacturing, and governance.According to the 2013 Brand Finance Nation Brand report, which rates and ranks the brands of different countries, the total value of South Africa’s nation brand rose from US$222-billion in 2012 to $270-billion in 2013 – a significant increase.African Nation Brand RankingsCountryRankingBrand valueSouth Africa32$270-billionNigeria49$111-billionEgypt54$70-billionMorocco67$40-billionGhana80$20-billionKenya81$19-billionEthiopia86$14-billionTanzania88$14-billionUganda94$10-billionBotswana97$9-billionZambia99$8-billionFindings on South Africa’s footprint in Kenya and NigeriaUncovering outside perceptions of a nation are key to effectively marketing its brand, particularly for encouraging trade and investment. In July and August 2014 Brand South Africa researchers conducted fieldwork in Kenya and Nigeria to assess other African countries’ views of South Africa and its people.This revealed that Kenyans largely consider South Africans to be imposing and aggressive.“However, at the opposite end, the country and its people’s general openness is ascribed to an appealing culture and high level accomplishments in several spheres,” De Kock said. “For example, our political transition and democratisation; the capabilities and range of sectors in the South African economy; South African technical, managerial, manufacturing, engineering, and a host of related practical capabilities – these all impact positively on perceptions of the nation brand.”For example, Kenya revealed a positive reception of South African products and services, mostly in the food sector, as they are competitively priced and of high quality.According to the report, these perceptions stem from comments on how South African managers conduct themselves and treat Kenyans. This impacts on the reputation of South Africa and South African businesses in Kenya.On the other hand, South African companies’ perceptions of doing business in Kenya are characterised by wariness, a result of several failed attempts to invest in the nation.Perceptions of business and economic ties in Nigeria conclude that while South Africa has significant and diverse investments across a range of sectors in that country, Nigerian business people feel South Africa should be more open to investment from, and trade interaction with, Nigerian companies.Conclusions of reportThe initial fieldwork findings indicate unique nation brand reputational strengths in areas such as culture, music, business sophistication, infrastructure and political management of democratic transitions.On the negative side, South Africans are perceived as imposing, aggressive, and unwilling to listen to local advice.“From a business perspective it implies that more attention needs to be paid to the manner in which South Africans interact with African peers, and how market entry strategies are designed by incorporating soft factors such as business culture,” De Kock said.From a political point of view South Africa is seen as progressive, that it has strong institutions, and democratic credentials to underpin its constitution. However, internal developmental challenges, xenophobia, and misplaced perceptions about African expats in South Africa is a cause for concern in Kenya and Nigeria.
Melissa JavanBrand South Africa board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama challenged business leaders to go above and beyond to change society for the better. Speaking at the 2016 In Good Company conference at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on 30 August, Kweyama said: “It’s only when we create sustainable, durable solutions that we overcome challenges.”Sustainable change can be achieved, she argued, when companies are more creative and are courageous in the way it allocates corporate social investment (CSI) budgets. Far too often companies look at CSI as charitable spending rather than funds that can make real change. “CSI programmes can be invested in growing the country.”Why is enterprise and skills development not funded more often through CSI programmes, she questioned.She urged corporate leaders to show the way forward by being courageous, tenacious and resilient. “Let’s improve the social conditions and build a strong nation brand.”Create sustainable solutionsIn Good Company is part of an ongoing initiative run by Nation Builder, the conference organisers. Nation Builder helps companies channel it’s CSI into initiatives to make the most sustainable change in South Africa. Founded by the Muthobi Foundation, Nation Builder is a community of businesses and individuals dedicated to changing their communities through action.Keri Paschal, executive director of the Muthobi Foundation and trustee of Nation Builder, said it can be achieved “through the sharing of practice, lessons learned and the development of collaborative tools to equip all of us to achieve better results in our Good Giving, both individually and within our business.”Paschal explained that they have benchmarked charities and created tools and resources that help businesses gauge the success of their CSI projects.Research conducted by Nation Builder Trust has found that R8.1-billion is channelled annually through CSI budgets. It is estimated that that investment, if spent wisely, could generate R25-billion worth of economic activity.Informal traders, the invisible matrixGG Marc Alcock, author of Third World Child and KasiNomics, used the novelty of food trucks (entrepreneurial businesses that can generate between R25 000 and R100 000 a month) to explain how the country’s informal traders are contributing to the economy.When he noticed that employees were willing to spend R35 for a meal from a food truck when meals at the staff canteen were cheaper, he wondered why.“The food truck’s food doesn’t stay overnight. It is fresh,” was the answer.It gave Alcock important insight: businesses need to look at unique ways of meeting needs. It was the same with hawkers selling fruit and vegetables – customers bought it because it was fresh.“What about your neighbour being your competition?” Alcock asked the hawkers who sell the same products but sit next to each other. One answered: “I have my own customers, just like she [the neighbour] has her own.” Alcock said it showed that relationships are important in business.The value of spaza shops and spazarettesAlcock said that South Africa’s economy is being sustained by the informal sector. “We need to recognise the role the informal sector plays.”For example, there are 70 000 spaza shops, defined as a hole in the wall shop that sells basic necessities to customers, each could generate between R30 000 and R80 000 per month turnover. A spazarette is just a bigger version of a spaza shop, where customers buy weekly goods.He added: “Although they are below the tax bracket in terms of their profit, they pay VAT anyway when they buy their goods.”Alcock said the informal sector helps the unemployed earn a living. “We [as corporates] need to enhance, and support these businesses.“They are the invisible economic matrix, their businesses surround us, but we don’t see them.”Other speakers included Mike Schussler, director of Economists.co.za, and Francois van Niekerk, founder of the Mertech group and co-founder of Atterbury properties. Van Niekerk spoke about the marriage between business and purpose, while Schussler’s talk was titled We ignore the good news about South Africa at our peril.Conference host and actor Eric Miyeni said CSI should begin the day you start your business. “Most people think CSI is outside. You can start with your first employee, your first partner or yourself.“CSI is about being good to your fellow citizen.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info material
What are you willing to give up?Without the money to finance the up-front cost of green enhancements, the borrower may be forced to decide among competing priorities. What to give up: Upgraded kitchen cabinets? Imported granite countertops? Backyard deck? Garage? Thicker walls for higher R-value insulation? Triple-pane windows for double-pane? Geothermal HVAC? Photovoltaic or solar thermal systems? RELATED ARTICLES Green Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesGreen Home Appraisal WoesA Step Toward Fairer Green Home ValuationsWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemGetting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and InsuranceQ&A: Bad Appraisal on a New Green HomeQ&A: Refinance and Appraisal of Net-Zero Home Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus ProjectGoodbye Radiant FloorSelecting a General ContractorPlans and Pricing for Our House in MaineLooking Through Windows — Part 1Looking Through Windows — Part 2Looking Through Windows — Part 3Looking Through Windows — Part 4Looking Through Windows — Part 5Looking Through Windows — Part 6Looking Through Windows — Part 7Designing Superinsulated WallsCutting Down Trees and Milling LumberA Visit to the Local SawmillSeeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3 That’s a tough call for many people, even for those who want to go green. Green enhancements are often invisible — you can’t see the extra insulation; a window is a window. Yet it’s easy to fall in love with very visible upscale kitchen appliances, custom draperies, or the lovely landscaping. These amenities provides an immediate, visceral connection of quality and beauty, while the former is invisible to the casual observer. [Editor’s note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 16th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]If you have read my previous blog (“Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal – Part 1”), you know that the appraiser failed to list or value any of the green/energy efficient aspects of EdgewaterHaus. Does it matter?Absolutely!Most borrowers include the cost of the green enhancements as part of the overall construction cost. They then get a loan to cover some or all of the up-front construction cost. If the appraisal doesn’t value the green enhancements, the lender will likely reduce the value of the loan accordingly, particularly if the borrower is already at the maximum loan to value amount. It’s the “no tickee, no laundry” syndrome. BLOGS BY ROGER NORMAND The first article in this series was Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus Project. Roger Normand’s construction blog is called EdgewaterHaus. Immediate gratification or delayed gratification?Some green enhancements — like a tighter building envelope or a PV system — provide an economic benefit, but the payback period extends over a period of years. I’m not a sociologist, but I think most Americans prefer immediate versus delayed gratification. So they opt for the lovely imported tile floors — and so what if they spend $100 a month or more on utilities?I should also clarify shades of “green” here. Good for you if you are going to replace incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs, or use Energy Star appliances. Just don’t expect the appraiser to note or value that.These are “typical” upgrades. I am talking about more substantial improvements, like additional wall, ceiling or sub-slab insulation beyond minimum code requirements. And while use of sustainable materials is noble for the environment, I suspect somewhere between few and not many individuals would be willing to pay more for a home that includes sustainable materials. Perhaps more importantly, there is really no way for the appraiser to objectively quantify the marginal market value of these materials.So go for sustainable materials; just don’t expect them to be valued in the appraisal. Suggestions for those facing an appraisalIn my web research, I found many articles written about the failure of property appraisers to equitably value green construction, but few suggestions on how to increase your chances of getting an appraisal that equitably values “green,” or how to challenge one that failed to do so.So here are my suggestions freshly culled from the school of hard knocks. I wish I knew then what I have now learned through experience and research.1. Work with a lending institution that sees real value in “green.” Lenders who value green construction may be just as scarce as green appraisers. It will likely be an easier case if you will be building or substantially remodeling a home to a nationally recognized LEED, Energy Star, Passive House green standard. Talk to the lender about whether they will support your green efforts before applying for the loan. If not, walk!You want the lender on your side if your wanna-be green appraisal turns you red, like it did with us. Our lender was extremely supportive, agreeing to discard at no cost to us an appraisal that valued our Passivhaus/LEED Platinum home as “typical” for energy efficiency. The bank then agreed to engage another recognized green qualified appraiser.2. Work with the lender to find an appraiser with green credentials. This can be tricky on many fronts. Lenders typically have a list of approved appraisers that they work with, and may be uncomfortable using an unfamiliar appraiser. Under new federal loan standards, neither you or the loan officer has any say in which of the approved appraisers will be selected. But you can suggest to the lender individuals from nationally recognized appraisal organizations that have demonstrated green skills.One such organization is the Appraisal Institute (AI), a global membership association of professional real estate appraisers with more than 24,000 members throughout the world. AI launched a Green Valuation Program in January 2011 to “educate appraisers on the intricacies of valuing high-performance residential and commercial buildings.”AI maintains a registry of individuals who have completed courses in residential and/or commercial courses in its Valuation of Sustainable Buildings program. Find out which appraisers in your region have completed these courses and suggest to the bank that they select one of these individuals. Fortunately for us, our bank agreed to employ one of the two AI members in our area with green credentials, even though they had never used him before.3. Make sure the appraiser is properly armed with all the green features in the home. Don’t let the appraiser guess or assume he/she will realize all the features. Lead the horse to water and hope he will drink it!Be sure the architectural drawings fully identify the green features. Ditto with the list of construction specifications. The appraiser should have access to all the drawings and specifications, and you should be suspicious if none are requested.Provide the appraiser with a summary, brochure, web link or other reference material that explains the green construction standards you plan to meet. Offer to discuss the green specifics with the appraisers. Even better is to have the builder or architect discuss the green features with the appraiser.Be specific, polite, and professional. And remember that the appraiser’s job is assess the VALUE on the property based on what other individuals are likely to willing to pay. So emphasize the economic benefits of energy efficient aspects.4. Take a deep breath and wait for the appraiser to prepare the appraisal.My next blog will discuss how the appraiser should recognize the green features of the home, and different approaches on valuing green.
Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games “We have to be ready and we have to prepare hard.”Austria is aware of the challenge they are about to face in seeking the franchise’s second Grand Slam since 1989. He believes that the wheeling and dealing among the teams in the off-season was done with his Beermen in the crosshairs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“There are so many teams that built up their rosters,” said Austria, whose squad will parade the stocky Wendell McKines for the final conference starting July 19.A dynasty has certainly been established with the Beermen’s Game 6 series-clinching win over TNT KaTropa. It was San Miguel’s 24th title overall and the Beermen’s fifth in the last eight conferences—all under Austria. Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View comments Castro says TNT’s young players will learn a lot from finals loss LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena “Nice that you said that,” Austria said in jest. “[My contract] is expiring at the end of the season.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Coach Leo Austria and Finals MVP Alex Cabagnot celebrate on center court —AUGUST DELA CRUZThe euphoria has certainly died down a bit, and with less than three weeks before the last PBA jewel is put up for grabs, San Miguel Beer will have its work cut out.“It (Grand Slam) is in the minds of so many people,” coach Leo Austria said on Sunday night after the Beermen lined themselves up for a shot at a Triple Crown sweep, just the sixth in the pro league’s 42-year history.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What ‘missteps’?