CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The premier of South Africa's most economically important province said on Thursday fraud charges leveled against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were frivolous and undermined efforts to avoid a ratings downgrade.

Speaking at a Thomson Reuters conference in Cape Town, David Makhura said President Jacob Zuma's administration was guilty of "recklessness".

(Reporting by Ed Cropley; Writing by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)