Finance minister Tito Mboweni is expected to paint a bleak fiscal picture when he presents his medium-term budget late next month, making it likely that rating agency Moody's will put SA on alert for a downgrade to junk status when it reviews the rating in November.

Though Moody's has a stable outlook on its South African rating for now, economists are betting this could change to negative, especially after the rating agency's "relatively negative" comments at its annual Sub-Saharan African conference in Johannesburg this week.It warned that weak growth and bailouts for state-owned enterprises were driving SA's public debt ratio higher and that there was no clear plan to address this...

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