Fitch downgrade devastating, says banking group; stay positive, says Treasury
'This will have an immediate and severe impact on the currency.... SA is poorer today'
National Treasury and the Banking Association of SA have reacted very differently to the Fitch Ratings downgrade of SA's sovereign credit rating to junk - the second in a week. Treasury said it was a "setback" but urged South Africans to remain positive in their comments on Fitch's move - which follows S&P Global's downgrade. But the Banking Association said it was "devastating". Treasury, now headed by Malusi Gigaba who replaced Pravin Gordhan in President Jacob Zuma's late-night Cabinet reshuffle last week, issued a series of reassurances and commitments to fiscal discipline and transparency, including on the nuclear deal. But, said the Banking Association, "The fact that Fitch has directly attributed its downgrade to the actions of the president demonstrates in no uncertain terms the broad assertion that the Cabinet reshuffle‚ although the prerogative of the president‚ was not in the national interest." The Fitch downgrade was more concerning, it said, "as it includes a downgrad...
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