Gigaba positive about SA growth despite junk status

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance for the first time since his appointment.

FILE: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance that he remains positive about the country’s growth prospects in spite of economic challenges and the country’s recent downgrade to junk status by two ratings agencies.

Fitch Ratings announced the downgrade of South Africa to junk status last month, after S&P also downgraded the country, citing political instability.

Fitch changed its rating to 'BB+' from 'BBB-', with the outlook stable.

The ratings agency said that the Cabinet reshuffle would likely to result in a change in the direction of economic policy.

Gigaba briefed the committee for the first time since his appointment.

“On the one hand, we’re trying to stimulate growth in the economy, but on the hand we’re trying to support the economic growth programme to ensure we manage our fiscus in a prudent manner.”

Gigaba, his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi and outgoing director-general Lungisa Fuzile will be presenting National Treasury’s strategic plan.

South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane will also be briefing the committee.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)