Downgrade could triple South Africa's borrowing costs

by Mfuneko Toyana, Reuters 0

S.African banking shares extend losses after watchdog charges

South Africa’s borrowing costs would likely “double or triple” if ratings agencies downgraded the country’s debt to subinvestment grade in the coming months, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said on Tuesday.

Jonas said debt servicing costs were the highest growing item in October’s medium-term budget and along with low growth would force government to cut welfare spending.

Standard & Poor’s and Fitch both rate South Africa’s debt on the lowest investment grade level and are due to give their next reviews in December.