Government working to address ratings agencies concerns

Friday, October 18, 2019

Deputy President David Mabuza says government is working tirelessly to address the concerns raised by ratings agencies.

He said this when he fielded oral questions at the National Assembly on Thursday.

“These concerns include slow economic growth, sustainability of our State-Owned Enterprises and the rising government debt. 

“Our collective efforts must help the country to not only mitigate the risks for downgrades but also to return it to a healthy investment rating.

“It is in our interest as South Africans to unite in championing sustainable efforts to collectively address the concerns raised by the rating agencies,” he said.

The Deputy President said with a clear focus and determination, it is possible to turn the tide.

He said when Team South Africa recently attended the 2019 Nordic-Africa Business Association Summit in Oslo, Norway, it was evident that the world still believes in South Africa. This was expressed when they engaged with the 300 investors at the event.

Mabuza said that together with the Nordic countries, government is looking into areas of overlapping interest, and possibilities for cooperation in the blue economy, smart cities and advancing digital skills for the youth. 

“As government we continue to advance domestic efforts towards creating an enabling environment for taking up these investments.

“In the short term, we need to speed up the implementation of the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan, which outlines a range of measures to ignite economic activity and build investor confidence. 

“We also continue to expedite the implementation of the 2018 Jobs Summit commitments, particularly on areas where business has identified inhibitors to investment.

“Business is committed to working with government in finding solutions in the labour market to address the crisis of job losses in the country.” 

He said under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, monthly meetings are held with business and labour to monitor progress in the implementation of the Jobs Summit commitments by all social partners.

In these engagements, government has committed to identifying and dealing with legislative and policy inhibitors, and improving the ease of doing business. 

“The recently appointed Presidential Economic Advisory Council will play the much needed role of coordinating all these efforts and ensuring that all the necessary elements for sustainable economic recovery are in place. Our government continues to strengthen partnerships with all the social partners.

“In particular, our ongoing engagements with the private sector are focused on ensuring that the Investment Conference commitments made in the past year are implemented. 

“We are encouraged by reports that substantial investment projects pledged in the Investment Conference have entered the implementation phase,” he said. –