The new Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene. Photo: Joshua Roberts
DURBAN - In an interview with Radio 702, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene spoke about South Africa's unchanged credit rating from Moody's.

With this credit rating, South Africa avoided a third junk status rating and the nation's outlook from Moody's was changed from negative to stable.

According to the interview, Moody's was in South Africa a few days after the new Finance Minister was sworn in and it was said that Moody's had kept them on their toes.

Nene added that the credit rating agency was reasonable because they had kept South Africa on review after six months and allowed the country to go through the ANC elective conference and the annual budget speech before releasing the new credit rating.

The response to the changes in Eskom and within the South African cabinet, in terms of the appointment of Pravin Gordhan as the Minister of Public Enterprises, has been positive.

Nene said that the changes have been well received in countries such as England and the United States of America.

Nene said, "However it is a honeymoon phase and the should not be complacent but instead take their agenda forward. Fiscal consolidation is on track and structural reform and state-owned enterprises are on the table and we will be working on those issues with the speed that it requires."


On the subject of land reform and restitution, Nene called the issues sensitive subjects and said that if the issue is not addressed it does pose a threat. He said that issue is with the Constitutional Review Committee where it belongs and that stakeholders will now have an opportunity to put their views across.

Nene said that Moody's decision to not change South Africa's credit rating will not have an impact on other credit rating agencies like S&P Global. He said that other rating agencies will base their review on the situation at that time.

He said if issues like growth and structural reform are addressed then other rating agencies will look at South Africa in a positive light.

On his return to the Treasury Nene said: "When you actually come back to an institution that still has the same strength and commitment . not much has changed in the Treasury I must say and I am actually quite comfortable to be back and working with my colleagues".

He called his colleagues at the Treasury a hard-working group of people and doing all the roadshows and work the that they have been dong together feels like they have picked up where they left off.

Nene said that the call to return to office as the Finance Minister was a call from the country although in a previous interview he said that he would not return to office.

"The country is bigger than all of us at the end of the day and the difficult part was resisting that. The fight I put up was nothing compared to the pull side which was the country's demand," said Nene.



- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE