PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa's new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday the credit rating downgrade by S&P meant the government had to pay even greater focus on growing the economy, and that he would address the issues raised by the rating agencies.


Gigaba said South Africa's rand denominated debt was still rated as investment grade and that the government's fiscal policy remained unchanged despite the switch in finance ministers following the reshuffle last week.


S&P cut the country's credit rating to BB+ with a negative outlook from BBB- in an unscheduled review, saying the dismissal of respected Pravin Gordhan as finance minister raised the risk a damaging policy shift.


(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia)