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South Africa’s new Finance Minister pledges to stave off third downgrade

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba

South Africa’s new finance minister has pledged to do what he can to keep the country from a third credit downgrade to junk status.

He said he would meet ratings firm Moody’s to persuade it he will stay on the path of fiscal discipline. Malusi Gigaba, who replaced the respected Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle that triggered credit downgrades to sub-investment by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch, told local investors he would clarify the Treasury’s policy positions to Moody’s during an upcoming roadshow overseas.

“We will do all we can to avoid another downgrade and one of the ways to do that is to engage with Moody’s directly, to demonstrate our willingness to stay the course in terms of fiscal discipline and fiscal consolidation,” Gigaba told reporters after meeting investors in parliament.

But he added: “There is no silver bullet in this regard. Nothing is taken for granted and nothing is taken as a guarantee.” Gigaba later told the national broadcaster he would tell investors attending an International Monetary Fund meeting in theUnited States next week that the economy was showing signs of recovery. 

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