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Tito Mboweni says Moody's downgrade is painful

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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch’s decision to downgrade South Africa’s government debt even further is painful.

“The downgrade will not only have immediate consequences for our borrowing costs, but also limit our fiscal framework.

“It is therefore essential that the government and its social partners work together to ensure that we maintain the inviolability of the fiscal framework and implement much-needed structural economic reforms to prevent further damage to our sovereign rating,” the minister said in a statement.

Moody’s downgraded South Africa’s government debt two levels below investment grade on Friday night and kept its outlook negative. At the same time, Fitch has South Africa’s government debt with three levels below investment grade. 

However, the rating agency Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) kept South Africa’s ratings unchanged.

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