Johannesburg – Standard & Poor’s halved its 2016 growth forecast for South Africa as it warned that pressure on the nation’s credit rating comes mainly from a slow economic expansion.

The rating company cut its growth forecast for this year to 0.8 percent, in line with that of the central bank, from 1.6 percent, and reduced its estimate for 2017 to 1.8 percent from 2.1 percent, according to an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. The revisions were prompted by the fall in commodity prices, the drought, depreciating rand and weak confidence, which was eroded further by the removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in December, S&P said.

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