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Ramaphosa: Politics not key concern of ratings agencies

Dec 07 2016 17:02
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – Ratings agencies are not overly concerned with the political noise in South Africa, said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Instead, they want to know where economic growth will come from.
Ramaphosa was responding to a question in the National Assembly on Wednesday, posed by the ACDP’s Steve Swart, who asked him how the ANC-led government intends to bring about political stability and avoid in-fighting ahead of the party’s national leadership elections in 2017.

The ANC will, at the end of next year, choose a new national leadership at its five-yearly conference.
“Let me say, when we engage with the ratings agencies, the most of them did say that there is clearly the political noise in the atmosphere, which they have noticed. But they said, in the main, they credit us for observing the rules of the game,” Ramaphosa said. “They congratulated us for operating within the parameters of the rules that we have.”
He continued, saying politics are not ratings agencies’ main consideration when they have to arrive at a ratings decision. “They concentrate more on economic growth, whether we’re restructuring our state-owned enterprises and labour reforms.” It’s not the main consideration of SOEs, labour market reforms. Those were the areas they were focusing on.
Ratings agencies, according to Ramaphosa, acknowledge that political contestation happens all over the world.
“We’re a political(ly) robust country. We’re boisterous, but that doesn’t concern the ratings agencies,” Ramaphosa concluded.

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