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The Reserve Bank kept interest rates on hold as expected on Thursday, ahead of ratings pronouncements by all three major agencies, citing upside risks to the rand and inflation from the anticipated ratings reviews as well as from the ANC’s electoral conference. The Bank signalled that interest rates were likely to rise over the next couple of years. Shortly after the announcement, Fitch affirmed SA’s credit rating at subinvestment grade BB+ with a stable outlook ahead of the announcements from S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s, which are due after 11pm on Friday night. Fitch is the only agency that has both SA’s domestic and foreign debt in junk territory. It warned that failure to implement credible fiscal consolidation, a further deterioration in expected GDP growth and rising net external debt would result in a further downgrade. But it also raised the possibility that things could change for the better after the ANC’s conference. Fitch said: “The affirmation reflects that while a n...

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