SA has plummeted in a major ranking of global competitiveness, falling 14 places in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Competitiveness index as the strength of its institutions and of its financial markets has eroded. In a context in which controversy around KPMG is mounting and clients are deserting the "big four" audit firm, SA losing its top place in the rankings on the quality of its auditing will be of particular concern. SA has fallen from number one to number 30 in the WEF rankings of the quality of auditing and reporting standards. The overall ranking for SA is now 61 out of 137 countries. The WEF index, which is based in part on a survey of perceptions by global executives, found that corruption, crime and theft and government instability were the most problematic factors for doing business in SA. It is now only third in sub-Saharan Africa — behind Mauritius and Rwanda. Among other large emerging market peers, India is ranked at number 40. WEF economist Roberto Crotti said ...

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