The Fitch Ratings logo is seen at their offices at Canary Wharf financial district in London. Picture: Reinhardt Krause/Reuters

Johannesburg - The South African government on Friday, said that it fully recognises Fitch Rating Agency's assessment of challenges the country faces in the immediate to long term, adding that tangible progress on confidence-boosting measures to improve investor confidence was being made.

Ratings agency Fitch on Friday decided to affirm South Africa's long term foreign and local currency credit ratings at 'BB+', although it maintained a stable outlook for the country. 

Fitch said that the decision to affirm South Africa credit rating at below investment grade ratings took into consideration that financial challenges at key state-owned enterprises (SOEs) remain substantial and the fact that government debt has yet to stabilise.

But the rating agency said that there were signs of recovering governance standards and the prospect of a mild cyclical recovery.

In a statement, National Treasury said that concluding critical policies, such as the Mining Charter, remained important for providing policy certainty in the country. 

"Furthermore, the recent changes in governance in critical State-owned enterprises and the 2018 Budget which outlined decisive and specific policy measures to strengthen the fiscal framework are expected to improve the investment climate of South Africa," National Treasury said. 

"Government is also prioritising its plans for inclusive growth. Collaboration with government, business, labour and civil society continues to yield necessary interventions to positioning South Africa as an attractive investment destination while also creating an enabling policy environment for inclusive economic growth." 

In November ratings agency S&P Global downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to full junk status while its counterpart Moody's placed the country on review for downgrade.

African News Agency/ANA