Treasury, business leaders welcome S&P decision on SA credit ratings

Treasury says escaping junk status is a top priority and it's focusing on achieving higher economic growth and fast-tracking reform at state-owned entities.

FILE: Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Business and Treasury have welcomed a decision by Standard & Poor’s Global not to further downgrade the country's credit ratings.

On Friday, S&P Global affirmed the country's sovereign debt at sub-investment grade.

It affirmed South Africa’s foreign and local currency ratings at BB and BB+, with a stable outlook.

In response, Treasury says it's determined to achieve improved credit ratings.

Treasury says escaping junk status is a top priority and it's focusing on achieving higher economic growth and fast-tracking reform at state-owned entities.

The rating agency says that South Africa’s ratings are constrained by a weak pace of growth, a large fiscal debt burden and sizable contingent liabilities.

It also says high levels of poverty, unemployment, and economic inequality remain problems.

However, in response, the CEO Initiative, a group of business leaders, has welcomed the decision not to downgrade the country further.

It's noted encouraging signs of progress following several months of hard work from government, labour and business.