Treasury to discuss Fitch credit ratings

National Treasury says it will address the issues raised by credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings.

National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - National Treasury on Thursday said it would address the issues raised by credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings, which on Thursday downgraded their view of South Africa's credit worthiness.

The global rating agency researches the credit worthiness of countries worldwide.

It cut South Africa's rating down from their view of 'BBB +' to 'BBB', resulting in a drop of the country's short-term credit rating too.

Fitch cited the country's economy, as well as social and political tensions in major industries, as the reason for the drop.

Several wildcat strikes in the mining and transport sector plagued the country last year.

Treasury said the National Development Plan, which aims to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, would push forward a more inclusive economic environment to improve the country's economy.

Meanwhile, credit analyst Rasia Khan said the move downward was not unexpected.

"The move was really not at all unanticipated. Many people had expected that it would come through, but of course it is that additional concern for South Africa because now all three ratings agencies, in the space of six months, have downgraded South Africa's rating."

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'.