Authorities brace for credit ratings agencies

Minister Pravin Gordhan says agencies want to see proof that govt has taken action to improve prospects.

Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says rating agencies want to see proof that government has taken action to improve prospects of economic growth.

Gordhan, along with President Jacob Zuma, held a meeting with the Black Business Council and labour leaders in Pretoria yesterday. The meeting was aimed at ensuring government works with business to build confidence in the economy.

Ratings agency Moody's has warned that political infighting, weak economic growth and mounting debt at state-owned companies all pose a risk to South Africa's credit rating.

Gordhan says Moody's will be in the country next week followed by Standard & Poor's and Fitch later in the year.

"The ratings agencies and others want to see proof that we've taken a few steps in the directions we've indicated. I think the president has outlined some of those areas. Now the time is for us as team South Africa to provide the evidence."

Meanwhile, the president says he's encouraged by the work done so far to boost confidence.

Zuma says government, business and labour are working together to ensure a positive outcome.

"It is encouraging that we are working together as business, government and labour. It is an important partnership which does well for the economy. We urge all sectors of society to actively support this initiative."