Zuma: Credit ratings important in fight against unemployment, poverty

President Zuma’s told the House that Brics countries want to set up their own ratings agency.

President Jacob Zuma arrives for the Q&A session at the NCOP. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has stressed the importance of good credit ratings to attract international investment.

Zuma was answering questions in the National Council of Provinces, where he was asked about the effect on economic stability of the fraud charges being brought against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The minister is set to deliver his medium term budget policy statement in Parliament tomorrow afternoon.

President Zuma says economic stability is paramount if poverty, inequality and unemployment are to be dealt with and he says the charges against Gordhan are a concern to all, including investors.

Zuma says Gordhan is innocent until a court proves otherwise. He's also underlined the need for South Africa not to be downgraded to junk status.

"Good credit ratings are very important - they determine the cost of borrowing money, and give an indication to international investors whether to invest in a country or not."

He told the House that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa want to set up their own ratings agency because of a feeling that developed and developing countries are not always assessed in the same way.

Zuma acknowledged the public support for Gordhan shown by business, religious leaders and community organisations ahead of his first appearance in court on 2 November 2016.