Ramaphosa: Economic downgrades unfair

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa predicts economic downgrades SA received will soon be reversed.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa attends the party’s 53rd national conference in Mangaung. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MANGAUNG - ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday said he predicted the economic downgrades South Africa recently received from ratings agencies would soon be reversed.

He was speaking at a New Age business breakfast in Mangaung.

The ANC's 53rd National Conference there ended last night, with the party's newly elected national executive committee (NEC) being announced

The 80-member committee includes most of President Jacob Zuma's allies, while those who opposed his slate in the top six elections were left out in the cold.

Ramaphosa told guests that the recent economic downgrades were unfair.

In September, Moody's downgraded South Africa's government bond rating from 'A3' to 'Baa1'.

Standard & Poor's (S&P) then cut the country's long-term foreign currency credit rating from 'BBB+' to 'BBB' status.

S&P also cut South Africa's long-term local currency rating to 'A-' from 'A'.

Ramaphosa said there was no reason for policy uncertainty in the country because the National Development Plan (NDP) set out South Africa's future.

The plan aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in the country by 2030.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) plans on realising these goals by "drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society".

Ramaphosa also congratulated Zuma for establishing the NPC, of which he is the deputy chairperson.

He said the debate about nationalisation was an example of how democracy worked in the ANC.

The conference decided to dismiss the idea of whole nationalisation.

"When we do take decisions as the ANC, they are effective decisions. The national conference has decided on this issue."

Ramaphosa said rating agencies should look at the determination with which Zuma championed the NDP and rethink the recent downgrades.