Filomena Scalise

Johannesburg - South Africa's business confidence fell to its lowest in 15 years in July, amid concerns that rising wage demands by unions will lead to higher unemployment, a survey by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed on Thursday.

The Sacci business confidence index dropped to 87.9 in July from 89.7 in June, the lowest level since September 1999, Sacci said in a statement.

“Sacci is concerned about the employment outlook,” the industry body said in a statement.

“Rising unemployment is one of the immediate consequences of high wage demands supported through strike activity.”

Employers in the platinum mining, metals and engineering sectors have signed double digit wage increase deals this year to end protracted strikes that are likely to dent growth in Africa's most advanced economy. - Reuters