Radio Islam: Economic Freedom of the world annual report has South Africa ranking 99

By Neelam Rahim

The 2022 Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report ranks South Africa 99th out of 165 countries and territories included in the report. The Free Market Foundation released the report in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute. This is a deterioration for the country, which last year ranked 93rd.

In discussion with Radio Islam International is the former Sowetan editor and current CEO of the Small Business Institute, John Dludlu.

The report is an annual ranking of over 150 countries globally regarding economic freedom, a list of indices including revelation, excess to sound, credit and money, and labour laws. It also measures the size of the government.

According to John, the bigger the size government, the more restrictive the economic environment is. It also measures the state of the rule of law, contract laws, and property rights protection.

He said South Africa had been measured for many years. It’s pretty disappointing that our situation has deteriorated.

He added that this has to be looked at in the context of the numbers used from 2020. The country was in a State of massive lockdowns.

“It is unsurprising that we’ve scored so badly.”

The labour regime has always been the most controversial. John said the labour relations regime has tendered to be very protective of workers’ rights and in favour of workers vs employers.

“That sort of partly accounts for the situation.”

We are looking into the issue of property rights. In the past few years, there have been unhelpful debates surrounding land expropriation without compensation.

According to John, this would have gone into South Africa’s score, into the reversal of our progress, as it created a lot of uncertainty.

Regarding comparing South Africa to other countries globally that are on a similar footing, John said it’s a mixed bag in certain instances. It goes into issues spoken about.

“We have created some own goals as well. There is reason to be optimistic about the future. These rankings should spur us into action and improvement.”

Listen to the interview on Radio Islam’s podcast below.