Pretoria - South Africa's economy still faces major challenges despite growing by 3.3 percent in the second quarter after contracting in the first, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

In an address to South African diplomats who represent the country abroad, Zuma also said he backed efforts by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to reassure investors about betting on Africa's most industrialised country.

Investors have been nervous about Pretoria's commitment to sound economic policy since Zuma changed finance ministers twice in less than a week in December.

Fraud charges by the state against Gordhan announced last week have also hurt the markets.

REUTERS