Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has prayed for “economic freedom in our lifetime” and deliverance “from these rating agencies.”
Mkhwebane made the prayer in a tweet she posted late on Thursday night/early Friday morning on her personal Twitter account.
She wrote, “God deliver us from these rating agencies and oppressors of the downtrodden for economic freedom in our lifetime and generations to come.”
Tweet sparks debate
Mkhwebane’s tweet sparked intense debate among Twitter users. Some argued that she is “venturing into the political space.”
@gwele_zola replied, “I think you’re dangerously venturing into a political space even claiming to fight for economic freedom when you should be on rampant corruption, ESTINA!”
Others argued that poor leadership and bad economic policies are the problem, not rating agencies.
“Rating agencies just rate… they don’t create our poverty, our crime, our poor productivity, our corrupt leaders, our poor health care, our bankrupt SOEs, our ineffective law and order, our view that it’s always someone else’s fault… They just hold mirror up to us!,” wrote @speedtriple11.
Some, like @vusiking, echoed Mkhwebane’s prayer: “LOUDER please mama. The little nyana dogs of WMC won’t like this and will report to the number 1 dog of WMC. We cannot carry on with an indebted country. SA is an entity owned elsewhere and we must free it.”
Moody’s SA rating
Moody’s credit rating agency is set to issue its much-anticipated latest rating for South Africa on Friday.
Currently, it has pegged the country at Baa3, its lowest investment grade rating, with a “stable” outlook. It is the only rating agency that has not yet downgraded South Africa to junk status.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told Parliament on Wednesday that “it’s not looking good,” signalling that Moody’s could issue an unfavourable review.
Analysts say Moody’s could give South Africa a lifeline by pegging the country at “outlook negative.” This would leave a window of about 12 to 18 months for South Africa to prevent a full junk status downgrade.
A full downgrade could lead to higher borrowing costs and up to $10 billion in active capital outflows from South Africa, according to Goldman Sachs.