Government focused on economic growth despite downgrade: Mboweni

Tito Mboweni, South African Minister of Finance, delivers his 2020 Budget Speech in the South African Parliament, on February 26, 2020, in Cape Town.

Rodger Bosch / AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, says government is prepared to implement measures to improve economic growth and minimise the impact of COVID-19.

This comes after ratings agency Fitch downgraded South Africa by one more notch, to BB, with a negative outlook.

“To assure all South Africans, government is seized with addressing and minimizing the impact of COVID-19, implementing measures to improve economic growth and setting government finances on a sustainable trajectory. This work requires close collaboration and coordination across various sectors of the economy,” said Mboweni.

Fitch: SA outlook is negative

Fitch says this is due to no clear path towards stabilising government debt, as well as the expected impact the coronavirus will have on economic growth.

It says the country's GDP is forecast to contract by 3-point-8 percent this year, and Fitch expects only a moderate recovery next year.

Fitch already downgraded South Africa to junk status in 2017.

Moody's has also downgraded South Africa.

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