The World Economic Forum releases an annual report titled "The Global Competitiveness Report". The report ranks countries according to a range of factors and determines using a weighted scale which countries are "most competitive".
There's an Interactive version of the report and a PDF Download.
The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report.
South Africa's Ranking
South Africa ranks at number 54 on the index (out of 139). This is notably above Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Mexico. While performing poorly in social measures such as Health and Primary Education, in particular Prevalence and Incidence of HIV/AIDS, there are some striking positives:
South Africa is ranked number 1 under the categories Strength of Auditing and Reporting Standards and Regulation of Securities Exchange.
The country ranks number 2 in terms of Trustworthiness and Confidence and Efficacy of Corporate Boards.
South Africa is in third place in regards Accountability.
Other top ten measures include Protection of Minority Shareholder Interests, Soundness of Banks, Legal Rights Index, Availability of Financial Services, Financing Through Local Equity Market, Strength of Investor Protection and Financial Market Development.
It's amazing that a country like South Africa is ranked the best in the world at auditing, investor protection and legal rights while at the same time recieiving little to no attention from US investors due to mispercieved political and regulatory risks. Clearly such bias is uninformed.
World Economic Forum Link