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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns P-1.za to City of Tshwane; changes outlook to stable from negative

30 Nov 2010

Johannesburg, November 30, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a short-term issuer rating of P-1.za (South African national scale rating) to the City of Tshwane, and changed the rating outlook to stable from negative. The city has a long-term national scale issuer rating of Aa3.za.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"The outlook change reflects the effectiveness of the city's efforts towards fiscal recovery, which have resulted in an improved liquidity position and cash flows after the fiscal challenges experienced in 2008-09," says Kenneth Morare, Moody's lead analyst for Tshwane. "Although its cash flows remain under pressure, Tshwane's cash reserves adequately cover short-term obligations, thus supporting the high short-term rating assigned on the South African national scale," adds Mr Morare.

Although the global financial crisis has affected Tshwane to a greater extent than other cities in South Africa, Moody's recognises that many South African municipalities, including primarily large cities, experienced liquidity strains in 2008-09 caused by (i) the impact of the economic downturn on their cash flow generation capacity and (ii) sustained infrastructure investments in preparation to 2010 Soccer World Cup. Financial results for 2010 demonstrates the city's effective cash flow management, which involved improved revenue generation capacity and expenditure rationalisation. Renewed fiscal discipline was accompanied by a more prudent investment activity, leading to balanced cash flows in FY2010.

"Moody's views positively management's effort to control operating costs and to keep them within the city's revenue generation capacity. If continued, the exercise of fiscal discipline will enable the city to consolidate positive financial results in spite of lingering fiscal challenges and to restore adequate liquidity buffers necessary for defraying critical operating expenses such as debt service and commercial obligations going forward," said Mr Morare.

Tshwane's ratings also reflect the relatively high debt burden, at ZAR4.5 billion or 34% of the city's annual operating revenue in FY2010. However, Moody's expects Tshwane's debt burden to stabilise in the short-to-medium term and the rating agency regards the associated burden as manageable in light of the city's actual and projected budget volumes.

Tshwane's ratings remain supported by the city's status of administrative capital of South Africa, which indicates a large and diverse local economy. Based on revenue of ZAR13.9 billion (US$2 billion) in FY2010, Tshwane is the fourth-largest city in South Africa. Tshwane is located in Gauteng Province which is the country's wealthiest province and it has a population of 2.5 million inhabitants.

The last rating action with respect to the City of Tshwane was implemented on 7 Jul 2009, when Moody's changed the outlook on the city's Aa3.za rating to negative from stable.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were "Regional and Local Governments Outside the US", published in May 2008, and "The Application of Joint Default Analysis to Regional and Local Governments", published in December 2008.

Moody's National Scale Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".za" for South Africa. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale ratings, please refer to Moody's Rating Implementation Guidance published in August 2010 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings."

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings, public information, confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.

Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of maintaining a credit rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

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Johannesburg
Kenneth Morare
Analyst
Sub-Sovereign Group
Moody's Investors Service South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Milan
Mauro Crisafulli
Senior Vice President
Sub-Sovereign Group
Moody's Italia S.r.l
Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100

Moody's Investors Service South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
The Forum
2 Maude Street
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South Africa

Moody's assigns P-1.za to City of Tshwane; changes outlook to stable from negative
No Related Data.
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