The seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 57.2 points in November from a revised 53.6 points in October, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.
"Business activity and new sales orders, the two sub-indices that were most severely impacted by the steel sector strike in October, were also the ones that improved the most in November," Absa said in a statement accompanying the survey's findings.
"It is heartening that factory activity and the demand for manufactured goods seemed to be resilient against the impact of further bouts of load-shedding (power cuts) in November."
But the index measuring expected business conditions declined, Absa said, as the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant and subsequent global travel bans as well as an interest rate hike by the central bank weighed on sentiment.
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Emma Rumney)