S&P credit rating: Will they or won’t they?

Later today, the country will learn if its creditworthiness will be downgraded by S&P Global.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange building in Sandton. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) says it is cautiously optimistic that South Africa won't be downgraded.

Later today, the country will learn if its creditworthiness will be downgraded by Standard & Poor's Global.

The decision will likely have a profound impact on the economy and growth.

Local economists are divided over whether the country will be declared junk status.

WATCH: A ratings downgrade explained in 60 seconds

Economist George Glynos says he thinks the country is safe for now.

"We only have data for one month, into the new fiscal year, which if or the 2016/2017 fiscal year. It's inconceivable that out of one month's worth data, you can draw any meaningful conclusions as to the trends that we can anticipate through the year ahead."

Chief economist at Standard Bank, Goolam Ballim, says countries like Brazil and Russia, which have been downgraded, slipped into a recession.

"The man in the street has not yet priced the consequences in terms of employment and income growth, which is still to feature in the latter half of 2016 and that will be harmful."

Economists add the country cannot afford to be downgraded.

Kevin Lings, chief economist at Stanlib Asset Management, says the currency will be under more pressure if South Africa is downgraded.

"That pressure could become extended as foreign investors reassess their position in South Africa. It also has implications for how our bond market trade, or the cost of government debt, would go up."

In December, the agency rated South Africa at BBB- (triple B minus) with a negative outlook, citing concerns over growth.