The business community on Friday welcomed the decision by Standard and Poor’s to retain South Africa’s sovereign credit rating at its current level.
In a statement, the CEO Initiative, Business Leadership South Africa and Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said this meant South Africa’s long-term foreign currency debt was rated as investment grade by all three major rating agencies after Moody’s and Fitch maintained it last week.
The business community said this was a vindication of the efforts by government, labour and business over the past year to negotiate and undertake structural reforms to drive faster, more sustainable and more inclusive economic growth for the benefit of all South Africans.
“All of the rating actions and opinions published recently are testament to the fact that the responsible management of the country’s budget and diligent commitment to fiscal consolidation will benefit South Africa’s growth significantly in the long term,” read the statement.
“These announcements have affirmed investors’ conviction in the South African economy, but we see it as a beginning rather than an end of a process. We recognise that a lot of work is still necessary to reach higher levels of growth and we remain firmly committed to the structural reform programme, including initiatives undertaken by the CEO Initiative.”
The business community said the rating agencies had recognised the measures already implemented to reduce inefficiencies in the economy, and efforts to continue working on additional structural reforms to unlock the country’s full growth potential.
“All the agencies recognised the importance of strong, independent institutions — including the South African Reserve Bank, the courts and the Public Protector — in a robust democracy such as South Africa’s. It is essential that we value and build on these strengths, and jealously guard the independence and capacity of our institutions in our hard-won constitutional democracy.”
The business community said it would continue working with all South Africans towards a society that is fair, inclusive and prosperous for all who live in it.
– Africans News Agency