Standard & Poor’s (S&P) upgraded its outlook on South Africa’s credit rating to positive from stable while affirming the long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings at ‘BB-’ and ‘BB’, respectively.
According to S&P, recent favourable terms of trade in South Africa have improved the external and fiscal trajectory, while the country’s reasonably large net external asset position, flexible currency and deep domestic capital markets provide strong buffers against shifts in external financing.
In addition, the agency expects South Africa to post a current account surplus in 2022 for the third consecutive year, as prices for key metals and mining exports have risen significantly since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
S&P also noted some improvement on the implementation of key reform targets under Operation Vulindlela – established in October 2020 as a joint initiative of the Presidency and National Treasury to accelerate the implementation of structural reforms – as well as higher than-expected tax revenue.
The National Treasury in a statement said: “As stated in the 2021 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement and 2022 Budget, government is using a portion of the additional revenue to accelerate debt stabilisation, with the majority targeted to address urgent social needs, promote job creation through the presidential employment initiative, and support the public health sector.”
The department said faster implementation of economic reforms, accompanied by fiscal consolidation to provide a stable foundation for growth, would support a faster recovery and higher levels of economic growth over the long term