South Africa is no Venezuela, which ranks at the very bottom with one of the worst-performing economies in the world. But neither is it close to the top of the list and among the best. The Economic Freedom of the World Index tells a sad tale of South Africa's decline in recent years.
South Africa is in the bottom half, wedged between the corrupt Russian Federation and Tanzania - which doesn't recommend it highly at all.
Why is economic freedom important? Something often overlooked in debates. In terms of performance, it is no coincidence that the freer the economy the more prosperous the people. The hard data, too, shows there is longer life expectancy, greater social tolerance, more equality between the sexes, and a host of other indicators. Why?