The South Africa Business Confidence Index rebounded in August, having hit 12-year lows the previous month, despite the negative impact on sentiment of the labour disputes and shootings of miners at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine.

While those events dominated the local business environment, they did not detract from overall confidence, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which maintains the index, said.

“The improvement in business confidence during the month of August 2012, despite the events in the mining industry, is evidence of the resilience of South African businesses in a challenging environment,” SACCI said in a press release.

“The diversity of the South African economy renders it less vulnerable to specific events in any sector, for instance mining. SACCI therefore remains concerned that while the sector remains under severe operational and competitive pressures, mines are also burdened by the militant labour behavior that undermines the sector’s investment appeal.”

In an earlier interview with Gateway to Africa, SACCI’s CEO, Neren Rao, said that as tragic as the events at Marikana were, they did not represent a new dynamic in labour relations. He praised the immediate response from the government, and said that he believed the fallout could be limited with strong leadership.

“It’s an issue that’s been contained, dealt with, and I hope that it will continue to be dealt with in an efficient manner. If it isn’t, then I expect people to ask questions, both domestically and internationally,” he said.

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