(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Jan 15 - Fitch Ratings has downgraded the District Municipality of Nkangala's Long-term local currency rating to 'BBB' from 'BBB+'. The Outlook is Stable. The agency has also affirmed the Long-term National Rating at 'AA-(zaf)' with a Stable Outlook and the Short-term National Rating at 'F1+ (zaf)'.
The agency has simultaneously withdrawn Nkangala's Long-term local currency rating, Long-term National Rating and Short-term National Rating as the issuer has chosen to stop participating in the rating process. Fitch will no longer provide ratings or analytical coverage of the District Municipality of Nkangala.
The rating actions follow the downgrade of South Africa's Long-tern foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BBB' from 'BBB+' and Long-term local currency IDR to 'BBB+' from 'A' on 10 January (see 'Fitch Downgrades South Africa to 'BBB', Outlook Stable; at www.fitchratings.com) and the recalibration of the mapping of the national and international rating scales.
Nkangala is one of three districts in the Mpumalanga Province, with a population of about 1.3 million in 2010. It comprises 160 towns and villages, of which the main municipalities are Emalahleni (Witbank), Delmas, Dr JS Moroka, Steve Tshwete (Middelburg), Emakhazeni and Thembisile Hani.