South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the government will go all out to avoid a ratings downgrade to junk status this winter.
“We will do what we can to avoid a downgrade,” Gordhan told journalists ahead of his budget speech earlier Wednesday.
He added that fiscal consolidation was crucial in making sure the country was set back to its previous glorious years but cumulatively cutting on spending and reprioritisation.
“We were honest of our domestic challenges in our budget speech,” he also said.
Gordhan also conceded that the country was walking a tight rope that called for policy certainty and promotion of local investment into the economy.
The country has been losing investment into the rest of Africa as increasingly local investors are equally worried about the outlook.
He also had strong words about the economy.
[Read S.A Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2016 Budget Speech here:
“We are in a crisis and it helps to know that the organisation where I come from (ANC) and elsewhere people understand this.”
Turning to the controversial South African Airways subject, Gordhan said there was need to work on good governance and better financial management.
“The word bailout should disappear from our vocabulary.”
Gordhan called for more fiscal responsibility while allaying fears of ordinary people who are battling challenges of poverty and unemployment.
“We are not imposing austerity measures on our people. This budget is not going to affect social services delivery such as healthcare,” he said.