Stage 6 fiasco: Ratings downgrade may now be on the cards, economists warn

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Stage 6 load shedding – the worst since 2019 – sparked by a wildcat strike at ailing power utility Eskom could stamp out the SA economy's recent tentative green shoots, analysts have warned.

Amid spiralling unemployment, high inflation and rocketing fuel prices, there have been small pockets of good news. Tuesday saw a marginal uptick in formal employment in the first quarter, while sovereign rating agencies have been looking at the country in a slightly more favourable light.

In April, Moody's adjusted its outlook for South Africa from negative to stable, and in May S&P adjusted its outlook from positive to stable. The adjustments were attributed to a renewed commitment to structural reforms and honouring debt commitments.

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