In South Africa, 2012 became synonymous with the Marikana massacre in August and wildcat strikes that ensured the mining sector ground to a halt.
Ratings downgrades, rising costs and a widening trade deficit caused headaches as the year drew to a close.
But with it came the good: interest rates are at a near 40-year low and inflation has remained stable.
The JSE’s all-share index has performed exceedingly well and, in the run-up to the ANC conference in Mangaung this week, big business united in lobbying the government. Bring on 2013!.
Lisa Steyn is a business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University. Her areas of interest range from energy and mining to financial services and telecommunication. When she is not poring over annual reports, Lisa can usually be found pottering about the kitchen. Read more from Lisa Steyn