Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has no intention of changing South Africa’s economic policy – this is the message that will be conveyed to representatives of ratings agencies expected to visit the country over the next few months.
Briefing journalists on Thursday following Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said extensive discussion were held on how to prevent further downgrades.
“He [Gigaba] has tried his best even at WEF [World Economic Forum] to allay the concerns and the fears that there is new policy that might be introduced because the new minister has been appointed. ANC policy is what guides our policy framework,” said Dlodlo.
“None of us have the authority to change policy midstream, unless there are serious problems that affect our people with the implementation of that policy, so Minister Malusi Gigaba has no intention to change anything that has been implemented by his predecessor in terms of policy.”
She said the rating agencies were expected to visit the country between May and June and again between August and September this year.
Shortly after President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet, replacing Pravin Gordhan with Gigaba, two of the major ratings agencies – S&P Global and Fitch – downgraded South Africa’s sovereign ratings to junk status, while Moody’s placed the country’s credit rating on review for a downgrade.
The agencies cited recent political developments, hinting that the Cabinet reshuffle would weaken governance and that it would lead to policy shifts regarding public finances.