Extract: 2018 marks the third iteration of the South African Directors’ Sentiment Index™ research project. The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (“IoDSA”) started this project in 2016 to gain insights into and understand the concerns and challenges faced by South African directors. The research followed a quantitative approach, where data was obtained by means of an online survey that was circulated to the IoDSA member database as well as a specified sample of non-IoDSA member directors drawn from a research company’s national panel. The overall aim of the research is to survey, document and monitor the sentiment of our country’s business leaders, by measuring their views on a variety of elements covering Economic, Business, Governance and Directorship conditions.
In the short term, the aim of the research is to establish the current perceptual position of South African directors on conditions impacting the execution of their duties as directors. From a long-term perspective, the objective is to assess change in the sentiment of directors over time. We believe that this study provides valuable indicators of the challenges that are most affecting members of the IoDSA and the wider director community in the execution of their directorship duties.
Fieldwork for this report was conducted over the latter part of January and beginning of February 2018. During this period the following events took place in the political landscape which may have contributed to the noticeable positive shift in sentiment observed in this year’s results: Deputy President (at the time), Cyril Ramaphosa attended the World Economic Forum in Davos at which he relayed an investment-friendly message to the rest of the world that South Africa is open for business; and the resignation of Jacob Zuma as President and election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of the country. What will be interesting to note is whether this upward move in attitudes is still evident in a year’s time. The overall mean scores for Economic and Business conditions have shown an improvement since 2016, although the overall sentiment for Business still remains slightly negative. The sentiment for Governance and Directorship conditions on the other hand has not changed since 2017 but remains positive overall. At a glance, South African directors feel as follows in respect of each of the areas covered:
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