The ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Saturday voiced concern over a decison by international rating agency Moody’s to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating.
The ANC called on government, the private sector and organized labor to use this latest downgrade as a catalyst for greater urgency in working to alter the country’s economic trajectory and boost confidence in the economy.
“In particular, we call on the social partners to work together to expand private sector investment in the local economy, continue to maintain the stable labor relations environment, remain focused on government’s program of fiscal consolidation and strengthen governance in the state-owned companies and state institutions in general,” the party said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
Moody’s downgraded South Africa’s credit rating on Friday to one level above junk status with a negative outlook.
The agency lowered the country by one notch from Baa2 from Baa3.
Amongst the reasons cited for the decision is the perceived weakening of SA’s institutions, sluggish economic growth, slow implementation of structural reforms and policy uncertainty.
Moody’s is the only major rating agency to keep South Africa’s investment grade status. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch downgraded SA’s credit rating to junk status in April following the cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma.
The ANC said it remains committed to transparency and inclusivity in the process of assessing and, if necessary, reviewing policy towards the organization’s 4th National Policy Conference and 54th National Conference scheduled for June and December 2017 respectively.
“We have confidence that where any uncertainty or ambiguities still remain in terms of the ANC’s policy framework, these will be settled decisively by these important gatherings of our people,” the ANC said.
The party also said it is confident that the outcomes of these gatherings will result in an improved investment climate and should trigger a positive review in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance warned that the Moody’s rating downgrade with a negative outlook “indicates that the risk of further downgrades is still there.” Enditem