JOHANNESBURG - Government fully recognises ratings agency S&P Global’s assessment of the problems and opportunities facing South Africa, and remains committed to placing public finances on a sustainable path while aiming for inclusive economic growth, the National Treasury said on Saturday.
Government had noted S&P Global’s decision to affirm South Africa’s long-term foreign currency debt rating at "BB" and local currency debt rating at "BB+", as well as revise the outlook to negative from stable.
"South Africa’s foreign and local credit ratings by S&P Global remain below investment grade. According to S&P, the outlook revision indicates that South Africa’s debt metrics are rapidly worsening as a result of the country’s very low GDP growth and high fiscal deficits," the National Treasury said in a statement.
The agency stated that unless government took measures to control the fiscal deficit and fast-track the implementation of reforms, debt was unlikely to stabilise within S&P Global’s three-year forecast period.
"Government fully recognises S&P’s assessment of the challenges and opportunities which the country faces in the immediate to long-term and remains committed to placing public finances on a sustainable path while aiming for inclusive economic growth," the Treasury said.