The effects of politics, institutions and corporate governance on South Africa’s FDI flows

Mokgashi, Moshibudi
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This paper explores the linkage between political risk, corporate governance, institutions and foreign direct investment inflows in the context of South Africa. The study was prompted the by the ever-changing political stability of the country, corporate governance and corruption challenges and their impact on doing business in SA. It is conducted using secondary data for World Governance Indicators (WGI) collected from World Bank’s online database and World Competitiveness from the World Economic Forum (WEF). The relationship was estimated using the Generalised Method of Moments (GMM) econometric technique for the period of 1996 to 2019. For political risk and institutions, governance variables were used. These are rule of law, political stability, control of corruption, voice and accountability, government effectiveness, and regulatory quality. For corporate governance, Ethical Behaviour of Firms and Efficacy of Corporate Boards competitiveness variables were used. Trade Openness, Inflation Rate and Gross Domestic Product growth were used as control variables. The findings of this report indicate that weak governance impacts FDI inflows negatively. The econometric estimates show that tolerance for corruption, government ineffectiveness, lack of rule of law, political instability, poor regulatory quality and accountability have negative impact on FDI inflows. Whilst all six variables indicated significant impact on FDI, rule of law and lack of control of corruption show the most impact. The implication is that this should be an area of focus to improve and therefor positively impact FDI. Overall, the government should reduce political instability and policy makers should employ policies and strategies to improve doing business in South Africa to attract and maintain investors
A thesis submitted to the Wits Business School, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, at the University of the Witwatersrand, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management (in Finance & Investment), 2021