Treasury responds to Moody's decision to maintain credit rating

The ratings agency has confirmed SA’s rating at Baa 2 & adjusted the outlook from stable to negative.

A sign for Moody's rating agency stands in front of the company headquarters in New York in 2012. Picture: AFP/Emmanuel Dunand.

JOHANNESBURG - National Treasury has welcomed Moody's decision to maintain South Africa's credit rating at two notches above junk status.

The ratings agency has, however, adjusted the outlook from stable to negative.

The investment grade credit rating affirmation marks an end to the review period that started on 8 March 2016, when Moody's placed the country's ratings under review for possible downgrade.

It says the rating shows the country is approaching a turning point after several years of falling growth.

The negative growth outlook speaks to the risks of implementing policies and legislation that government, business and labour agreed on to restore investor confidence.

Treasury's Anthony Julies says this is a positive move as investors will see the country as worthy of investments.

"We were downgraded last year by a number of ratings agencies, so the affirmation by Moody's is simply an indication that there's some positive future outcomes with regards to our future growth forecast and the consolidation of our debt level."

Government says it will continue to work with business and civil society to ensure South Africa remains an investment grade country.

LISTEN: What would it mean for SA to reach 'junk' status?

Meanwhile, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says a South African delegation is heading to Rwanda for the World Economic Forum meeting with a message that the country is confronting challenges head-on.

Ramaphosa says amid a number of economic stumble blocks this year, South Africa remains open for foreign investment.

"We will also be showcasing that we're a country that's democratic, that has a robust democratic system and what I call durable institutions of government."

He is confident government will be able to clinch business deals with foreign investors in Rwanda.

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque.