Business owners remain unwilling to take on more debt under the Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme amid a bleak economic climate, with banks only expected to extend R24.4bn by January based on current trends, the Banking Association SA (Basa) said on Monday.

Demand for the scheme — a pillar of the government’s economic stimulus package in response to the Covid-19 crisis for which it earmarked R200bn in financing —  remains below original expectations, Basa said largely due to the prevailing weakness in business and economic conditions...

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