Government committed to maintaining investment grade rating for SA: Gigaba
TMG Digital | 2017-04-01 17:14:47.0
Finance minister, Malusi Gigaba looks on after the swearing in of cabinet ministers following a reshuffle. File photo.
Image by: Siphiwe Sibeko
The government is committed to maintaining an investment grade credit rating for South Africa‚ by all credible ratings agencies globally‚ says newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.
“This is important for ensuring South Africa’s access to investment capital at the fair and manageable interest rates‚ to borrow for productive investments to improve our economic competitiveness‚” he said at his first official news conference since being sworn in.
But he cautioned: “Whilst we accept that states justifiably incur the scrutiny of ratings agencies and investors when they borrow‚ we trust and hope that this scrutiny will not preclude our ability creatively and still within our means to pursue progressive policies to achieve our development objectives.
“We must have the courage and the space to develop and implement policies of our choice appropriate for our particular challenges and aspirations.”
At the same time‚ he said‚ the Treasury was convinced that – in order to sustain transformation and growth into the future – it was essential that South Africa relied on her own resources‚ and that government lived within its means.
“The urgent task before us is the pursuit of inclusive growth and a shared wealth.”
Gigaba added that government had been‚ and would remain‚ committed to a measured fiscal consolidation that stabilised the rise in public debt.
It would remain committed to getting the best possible value-for-money in the use of public resources.
“We recognize our context as a middle-income country in a globalized world‚ and we appreciate the need to retain the confidence of international stakeholders and partners.
“However‚ we must never lose sight of the fact that we are accountable first and foremost to the people of South Africa‚ who are relying on us to use the authority and resources of government to develop this country in a way which positively and tangibly improves their quality of life‚” he stated.