Treasury welcomes Fitch’s decision to keep SA's rating unchanged

Fitch has re-affirmed South Africa’s rating at BB+ with a stable outlook.

FILE: Ratings agency Fitch website. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Despite a decision by rating agency Fitch to keep the country’s credit rating at junk status, the Treasury has welcomed the move, saying there could have been another downgrade.

Fitch has reaffirmed South Africa’s rating at BB+ with a stable outlook.

The agency and S&P Global downgraded the country to junk status earlier this year.

The Treasury says it welcomes the decision to keep the rating unchanged and has thanked all involved in ensuring that the country is not downgraded further.

Spokesperson for the finance minister Mayihlome Tshwete said: “To put it in context, we could’ve been downgraded further but they’ve stuck to the initial downgrade that they’d given us.”

However, Fitch has once again singled out various issues facing the country.

It says South Africa’s rating is weighed down by a low trend in GDP growth and deteriorating governance.

It has cited in-fighting within the African National Congress, saying this remains particularly strong ahead of the electoral conference in December.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)