S&P Global, Fitch affirm SA’s ratings – govt acknowledges pressures

S&P said it affirmed South Africa's long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings at 'BB minus' and 'BB', respectively.

This picture taken on 17 January, 2012 shows a close-up of a page of the Ratings agency Fitch website. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Rating agencies S&P Global and Fitch have affirmed their ratings for South Africa.

In statements late on Friday night, S&P said it affirmed South Africa's long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings at 'BB minus' and 'BB', respectively.

The agency has maintained a stable outlook.

Fitch has affirmed South Africa's long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings at 'BB minus'.

The agency maintained a negative outlook.

S&P Global has said South Africa's near-term economic performance and current account were experiencing a cyclical uplift.

This was a result of a combination of base effects following a large economic contraction in 2020.

It noted improved terms of trade from higher commodity prices, but it said structural constraints, a weak pace of economic reforms, and slow vaccination rates will continue to constrain economic growth.

Fitch said South Africa's rating was constrained by high and rising government debt and exceptionally high inequality.

It said the negative outlook reflects continued substantial risks to debt stabilisation.

In response, government has said it acknowledges the pressures that the country's credit ratings face and remains committed to addressing them.

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