Some of the country’s major banks have started taking applications on the tweaked R200bn loan-guarantee scheme after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s centrepiece programme to limit the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic failed to take off.

Under the amended version of the programme, small businesses can now apply for loans of up to R100m regardless of turnover, opening the net wider. The initial phase only considered applications from companies with annual revenue of no more than R300m.

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