JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 South Africa's business
confidence rose in the third quarter, ending seven straight
quarterly declines, a survey showed on Wednesday, but could fall
again over the uncertainty facing the finance minister.
Police are investigating Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan
over the activities of a surveillance unit set up when he headed
the tax department, a probe that has also rocked South African
markets and raised concerns over a possible credit downgrade.
The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) survey said further ructions
around Gordhan could keep business executives on tenterhooks.
The RMB index, which is compiled by the Bureau for Economic
Research, climbed to 42 points in the third quarter from 32 in
the three months to June, helped by a stronger currency and
lower fuel prices and inflation.
"A continuation of the current domestic political
uncertainty, or renewed adverse international political or
economic developments could easily see business confidence
falter again," it said in a statement.
(Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by James Macharia)