Johannesburg - The next six months will be critical if the country is to improve its growth prospects and preserve its investment-grade credit rating, the Treasury has said after ratings agency Standard & Poors (S&P) became the second of the big three institutions to grant South Africa a reprieve from a feared downgrade to “junk status”.
“The rating outcome demonstrates that South Africans can unite, especially during difficult times, to achieve a common mission,” the Treasury said, referring to efforts by the government, business and labour in recent months to convince investors that the country could turn its fortunes around.
This partnership would intensify efforts to restore confidence and boost investment among local and international investors, unblock obstacles to faster employment growth in key sectors, and carry out fiscal and regulatory reforms, as well as reforms to state-owned companies.
“United effort towards concrete delivery in these priorities will lay a solid foundation for all South Africans to break through, in a sustainable manner, the cycle of poverty, inequality and unemployment,” the Treasury said.
Its comments followed confirmation from S&P yesterday that it would keep the country’s long- and short-term foreign and local currency bond ratings at BBB-/A-3 and BBB+/A-2, one notch and three notches above sub-investment grade, while maintaining a negative outlook.