The ANC Youth League have accused international ratings agencies of having a political agenda following the latest downgrades and have called on them to distance themselves from utterances made by former finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Global ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on Friday evening downgraded South Africa’s long-term local currency rating to ‘BB+’, or junk, from ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook, while Moody’s has placed the country on review to be downgraded.
In a statement on Saturday, the ANCYL said they had noted the utterances of former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan relating to alleged resolutions of the rating agencies caucus.
“His utterances about rating agencies confirms ANCYL’s long held view that the rating agencies are not apolitical and there are people within and outside the African National Congress (ANC) that are lobbying the rating agencies to support their own narrow political agenda,” said ANCYL spokesperson, Mlondi Mkhize.
Mkhize said when Gordhan had delivered his speech at Daily Maverick’s ‘The Gathering’ in Sandton, on Friday, he allegedly said that if Cyril Ramaphosa is supported, there will be no downgrades.
“Whilst the ANCYL respects Cde Pravin’s rights to freedom of expression which includes freedom to impart ideas, it is suspicious that he can be so confident that there will be no downgrades if Cde Ramaphosa is supported.”
“His confidence in uttering those words could only mean that he is well briefed on the rating agencies decisions after the 54th ANC National conference or he is lobbying the rating agencies to take a particular position if Cde Ramaphosa is not elected,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize said it would be unfortunate if the rating agencies were communicating their decisions with Gordhan, and not with the Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba.
“ANCYL demands that the rating agencies distance themselves from the utterances of Cde Pravin or else that will be a confirmation that his utterances represent their decision,” he said.
Mkhize said ANC branches were currently in the process of finalising their nomination process and people, in particular senior ANC leaders, should desist from issuing threats that if certain candidate does not emerge as a leader of the ANC, the country will be downgraded. – News24