File photo: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Johannesburg - Violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West was not a reflection of the South African business climate, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Monday.

“The tragic incident at Marikana is not a reflection of the business environment in South Africa,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery before the Foreign Correspondents' Association.

Chabane, who chairs the inter-ministerial committee dealing with the aftermath of the Marikana shooting, said he wanted to assure the international community that mining operations were not hampered elsewhere in the country.

“Government remains in control of the situation and law and order continues to prevail.

“The country continues to fully support direct investment and appropriate incentives and the legislative framework is in place to give confidence and predictability to investment decisions and security of tenure.”

The violence at Marikana, in which 34 people were killed on August 16, had not yet impacted on South Africa's ability to attract foreign investment, Chabane said.

“We have also not had any concerns raised through our foreign offices abroad about the damage done to investor sentiments.”

South Africa's standing on the World Competitiveness report had improved from 54th to 50th place and it was ranked 35th on the global Ease of Doing Business index, he said.

While government was doing everything possible to ensure there was not a recurrence of the Marikana violence, Chabane said the mining industry and organised labour also had a role to play.

“More work needs to be done in the area of social investment in mining communities and in the improvement of living conditions of mineworkers to mitigate against the unfavourable material conditions that give rise to tragedies such as Marikana.”

Chabane said this was not the time for “irresponsible provocative statements and grandstanding”.

“Government reiterates the call on all involved not to abuse the plight of those who lost their loved ones.”

Last Thursday, expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema vowed to lead a revolution which he said would make all mines in the country ungovernable.

The Congress of SA Trade Union previously claimed that Malema was using the mine tragedy to destabilise the trade union federation. - Sapa