SOUTH AFRICA REAFFIRMS EFFORTS TO AVOID CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADE

South Africa is sending a good signal to investors and rating agencies to avoid a possible sovereign ratings downgrade, President Jacob Zuma said.

South Africa is resolved to take all actions necessary to reinforce policy certainty and improve business confidence, Zuma said in oral replies to questions in the National Assembly.

It's widely expected that South Africa's sovereign ratings would be downgraded to junk status in the coming months.

In reply to a question about what plan of action the government has in place to avoid such a downgrade, Zuma said the government remains committed to the February 2016 fiscal targets, which are aimed at stabilizing debt and containing the rate of increase in debt service costs.

The government will also take steps necessary to change the composition of expenditure towards investment so that government can make a contribution towards growing the economy and creating more work opportunities, said Zuma.

"We therefore have every reason to believe that our collective actions as South African can deliver a better economic performance in the next few months and years," Zuma said.

Data last week showing that the South African economy grew at 3.3 percent quarter on quarter in the second quarter of 2016 is a good sign that the collective efforts are begin to yield fruit, said Zuma.

He said the government and the private sector have been working on various initiatives to support the economy.

This includes recommendations for sector interventions in tourism, agriculture, health, manufacturing, setting up of a small business fund and initiatives to support youth employment.

"We will do this while simultaneously communicating a clear message that growth-friendly fiscal consolidation will continue," the president said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK