The City of Johannesburg among other cities in the country is set to become a fully-fledged “Smart City” by 2040 through its Growth and Development Strategy (GDS). This will increase the competitiveness of the city worldwide. (Image: Wikipedia)The internationally distinguished City Nation Place Awards has recognised the work of Play Your Part, Brand South Africa’s flagship domestic programme aimed at building pride and patriotism.City Nation Place Awards celebrate and benchmark excellence in place-branding. Shortlisted entries demonstrate a combination of creativity, intelligence and effective strategic planning to deliver results in each of the categories. There are four main categories namely, Best Citizen Engagement, Best Communication Strategy, Best Use of Social Media, and Place Brand of the Year.Play Your Part is nominated for the Best Citizen Engagement Award. In this category, Brand South Africa is competing against five other participants from the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States.“Citizens are a critical driver of a country’s reputation and this is manifest in, amongst others, their pride and patriotism in promoting the nation brand,” said Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s chief marketing officer. “Brand South Africa therefore prioritises citizens as a pillar of our national engagement strategy and we therefore welcome this nomination.”CITY COMPETITIVENESSCities are now more than ever the lifeblood of the global economy, and their competitiveness increasingly determines the wealth and poverty of nations, regions and the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), which has been the leader in determining the competitiveness of nations since 2004.South African cities are playing a bigger role not only in determining the economy but also the lives of thousands of people. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth are home to numerous industries; they set the trends and absorb the country’s most talented individuals.The National Development Plan, or Vision 2030, has identified the components of a smart city as key developmental points, which means that South Africa is on the verge of being globally competitive. A smart city uses digital technologies to enhance performance and well-being, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens.PLAYING YOUR PARTBrand South Africa is mandated to position the country as a globally competitive inward destination. The organisation agrees that this cannot be achieved without the collective efforts of all citizens.This understanding led to Play Your Part, a nationwide social movement created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. The campaign is targeted at all South Africans – from corporates to individuals, and non-profit organisations to government and youth platforms.It calls on all people in South Africa to do what is within their capacity to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate, using their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.